Mississippi GEMS

Wolf River Preserve

  1. Wolf River PreserveSite Information Point(s) of Contact: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Coastal Preserves Program
  2. Geographic Information
    1. Narrative Description of the Site: The primary boundary of this 2,426-acre preserve contains the non-forested marsh along the Wolf River from Grassy Point to where the marsh ends in Section 37. The mid-section of the Wolf River contains expansive tidal freshwater marsh, dominated by sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense). A mixed zone of arrow arum (Peltandra virginica), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), possibly arrow arum (Peltandra sagittifolia), and spike rush (Eleocharis cellulosa). Groundsel bush (Baccharis angustifolia) is common in both the sawgrass (Cladium) areas and the mixed zones. The oligohaline extent of the lower Wolf River, DeLisle Bayou, and Bayou Portage is dominated by needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) with a mixture of duck potato (Sagittaria lancifolia) and big cordgrass (Spartina cynosuroides). A narrow (1-2 m) fringe of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) occurs along the edges of the creeks. The marshes in this area are similar to those along the edge of St. Louis Bay, including those along the northeast and northwest shore and the lower reaches of the Jourdan River. This unique location provides excellent feeding, resting, and wintering habitat for numerous types of migratory bird species, such as the Brown Pelican, White Pelican, Osprey, and cormorants. The Wolf River is used privately by landowners, boaters, and anglers that come into the area on occasional and seasonal basis for fishing and waterfowl hunting. Lands within this Coastal Preserve are either privately, locally, state or federally owned and intergovernmental and private cooperation is essential to manage the unique ecosystem surrounding the Wolf River Marsh. However, much of this property is considered tidal wetlands and is already owned by the state. Development of the surrounding lands causes a threat to the marsh.
    2. Date Site Established: March, 1998
    3. Location: Harrison County
    4. Area of Influence: Pine/oak uplands and coastal plain.
  3. Ecological/Cultural Characteristics
    1. Habitat type: This is a large extent of estuarine marsh that is expected or known to include the following estuarine communities: estuarine subtidal, 1) large tidal creek 2) muddy sand embayment; and estuarine intertidal, 1) mesohaline marsh 2) oligohaline marsh.
    2. Rare/Endangered Species:
      1. Anas fulvigula Mottled Duck
      2. Pansion haliaetus Osprey
      3. Coturnicops noveboracensis Yellow Rail
      4. Laterallus jamaicensis Black Rail
      5. Notropis petersoni Coastal Shiner
      6. Malaclemys terrapin pilea Diamondback Terrapin
      7. Alligator mississippiensis American Alligator
      8. Nerodia clarkii clarkii Gulf Salt Marsh Snake
      9. Juniperus silicicola Southern Red Cedar
    3. Migratory Species: This unique location provides excellent feeding, resting, and wintering habitat for numerous types of migratory bird species, such as the Brown Pelican, White Pelican, Osprey, and cormorants.
    4. Current and Potential Use of Site
      1. Recreational Use: Recreational Use: Boaters and anglers use the area on occasional and seasonal basis for fishing and waterfowl hunting (sparingly).
      2. Private Use: The Wolf River is used privately by landowners and sparingly by waterfowl hunters.
    5. Management Status
      1. Land Ownership: Lands within this Coastal Preserve are either privately, locally, state or federally owned. Much of the property is considered tidal wetlands and is already owned by the state
      2. Existing Designations: Mississippi Coastal Preserve
      3. Management Status: The Coastal Preserves Program of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is currently developing the Wolf River Marsh management plan.
      4. Existing Monitoring Activities: Monitored by the Department of Marine Resources Coastal Preserves Program.
      5. Acquisition Potential: Currently active
      6. Management Needs: Intergovernmental and private cooperation is essential to manage the unique ecosystem surrounding the Wolf River Marsh.
    6. Site Viability
      1. Threats to Ecological Integrity: Residences with open septic systems.
    7. Comments and/or Additional Information on Bayou Portage Preserve: email the Coastal Preserves Manager.

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