Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (Stouts & Wrangle Creek)

Site Description

  • State: New Jersey
  • County: Ocean
  • Ownership: Federal


  • Stouts Creek East: 45 acres
  • Stouts Creek North: 16.67 acres
  • Stouts Creek West: 64 acres
  • Wrangle Creek East: 7.29 acres
  • Wrangle Creek West: 10.3 acres

Ecology and Management

Stouts and Wrangle Creeks are two groups of impoundments located within Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge along Barnegat Bay in Ocean County, New Jersey. The Wrangle Creek impoundments were constructed in the 1940s by the State of New Jersey for waterfowl management. One of the Stouts Creek impoundments was created in the 1950s by a waterfowl hunting club, while the other was added in 1972 by state and local agencies for both mosquito control and waterfowl. Both sites are currently owned by Forsythe NWR and are not open to the public. Stouts Creek West is currently breached and all four have non-functional water control structures. Forsythe NWR recently evaluated the structural soundness of these impoundments and found that the high costs of operation and maintenance, along with a habitat value assessment, justify restoring them to open, tidal salt marsh systems.


These impoundments have low dikes (~2 feet above mean high water) and are therefore subject to overtopping and erosion. Forsythe NWR will be transitioning both sites from freshwater to tidal, non-managed systems in the near future.

Human Value

Stouts and Wrangle Creek are located in an isolated area of Forsythe NWR (boat-access only) and are not open to the public. The broader refuge receives over 250,000 visitors per year and is within 100 km of nearly 4 million people (whsrn.org).


We are grateful to Paul M. Castelli and Virginia Rettig (Forsythe NWR) and Joseph Schmidt (Ocean County Mosquito Extermination Commission) for providing helpful information used on this page.

Literature Resources

Below is a list of articles describing research occurring at or near the impoundments:
  • Atzert, S. P. Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Hadley, Massachusetts: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5; 2004.
  • WHSRN [Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network]. 2009. Edwin B. Forsythe NWR. http://www.whsrn.org/site-profile/edwin-b-forsythe-nwr Accessed 2015:1.