Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge (Edmunds Division)

Site Description

  • State: Maine
  • County: Washington
  • Ownership: Federal


  • 50 impoundments

Ecology and Management

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in northern Maine contains over 50 impoundments, but only one, the Nat Smith impoundment in the Edmunds division, fronts on tidal waters. It is described by the USFWS as a “former tidal marsh” with “abundant stands of wild rice.” The impoundment is used by shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl, especially during fall migration when it can host over 100 Wood and Black Ducks. Waterfowl hunting is not permitted at the impoundment due to its proximity to houses.


The impoundment is in a relatively sheltered location among a network of narrow bays approximately 12 miles inland from where the Lubec Channel empties into the Atlantic at the Canadian border. The dike that forms the impoundment is approximately 7 feet above mean high water.

Human Value

Visitation data for Moosehorn NWR is unavailable. The impoundment is in a rural area, near the town of Edmunds, ME and Cobscook Bay State Park.

Literature Resources

Below is a list of articles describing research occurring at or near the impoundment:
  • Ducks Unlimited. Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge Howard Mill and Upper Magurrewock Impoundment Enhancement. http://www.ducks.org/maine/maine-projects/maine-moosehorn-national-wildlife-refuge 2015:1.
  • Fefer, S. I. Waterfowl populations as Related to Habitat Changes in Bog Wetlands of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Orono, Maine: Life Sciences and Agriculture Experiment Station, University of Maine at Orono; 1977. Report nr 86.
  • Frazer, C., J. R. Longcore, and D. G. McAuley. 1990. Home range and movements of postfledging American black ducks in eastern Maine. Canadian Journal of Zoology 68:1288-1291.
  • Frazer, C., J. R. Longcore, and D. G. McAuley. 1990. Habitat use by postfledging American black ducks in Maine and New Brunswick. The Journal of Wildlife Management 54:451-459.
  • Green, A., J. Lyons, M. Runge, W. Kendall, H. Laskowski, S. Lor, and S. Guiteras. Timing of impoundment drawdowns and impact on waterbird, invertebrate, and vegetation communities within managed wetlands, Study manual – Final version field season 2007. Laurel, Maryland: USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; 2007.
  • Green, A. W., W. L. Kendall, H. P. Laskowski, J. E. Lyons, L. Socheata, and M. C. Runge. Draft version of the USFWS R3/R5 Regional Impoundment Study. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 2008.
  • Hierl, L. A., C. S. Loftin, J. R. Longcore, D. G. McAuley, and D. L. Urban. 2007. A multivariate assessment of changes in wetland habitat for waterbirds at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Maine, USA. Wetlands 27:141-152.
  • Longcore, J. R. Effects of impoundment management on vegetation change on Moosehorn NWR wetlands. Science Brief PWRC 2003-30. Orono, Maine: USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; 2003.
  • McAuley, D. G., and J. R. Longcore. 1988. Survival of juvenile ring-necked ducks on wetlands of different pH. The Journal of Wildlife Management 52:169-176.
  • Mendall, H. L. 1949. Breeding ground improvements for waterfowl in Maine. Wildlife Management Institute, Washington, DC.
  • MNWR [Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge]. 2014. Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Resource Management. http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Moosehorn/what_we_do/resource_management.html Accessed 2016.
  • Robertson, E. P. Responses of Rail Productivity to Water Level Variability and Factors Affecting Rail Broadcast Survey Results. The University of Maine; 2012.
  • Tudor, L. Migratory Shorebird Assessment. Augusta, Maine: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Wildlife Resource Assessment Section, Bird Group; 2000.