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Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee
Lake County and Obion County

    TWRA symbol

MAVDyer Co.Lauderdale Co.Tipton Co.Shelby Co.
Highway 79 going west to Mississippi River.

Ken Leggett

Highway 79 going west to the Mississippi River.

Location:  Lake County is bordered to the north by Fulton County, Kentucky, to the east by Obion County, to the south by Dyer County, and to the west by Premiscot and New Madrid counties, Missouri. Within the county, the Mississippi River on its western border travels 37.5 river miles (river miles 882.5 - 845.0) plus a separate loop on its north border of 7.8 miles (river miles 904.8 - 897.0). Obion County is bordered to the north by Fulton County, Kentucky, to the east by Weakley County, to the south by Dyer and Gibson counties, and to the west by Lake County. The Mississippi River does not border any of Obion County.
Physiographic Area:  PIF 05 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley); BCR 26 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley)

Description:
The MAV covers entirely Lake County and the western edge of Obion County. Within Obion County, the east edge of the MAV is mostly defined by county road 157 and the Cat Corner-Lassiter Foothill Road that runs along the base of the forested ridge of the East Gulf Coastal Plain. Public wildlife lands within the MAV in Lake and Obion counties total around 36,840 acres--Black Bayou Refuge (1,350), Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge (1,850), Reelfoot Lake National Wildlife Refuge (10,428 - around 8,000 Tennessee and 2,428 Kentucky), Reelfoot Lake State Park (280 acres), Reelfoot Lake Wildlife Management Area (24,000), and Tumbleweed Wildlife Management Area (1,360). Levees run parallel and perpendicular to the Mississippi River. Private areas mainly are used for agricultural crops. The biggest towns are Ridgley and Tiptonville (county seat).

Ornithological Importance:  Virtually every criteria is documented in Lake and Obion counties of the MAV. The area attracts the federally and Tennessee endangered Least Tern (see the Lake County summary below and Least Tern Surveys in the Mississippi River for a state-wide summary); wetland species including the In Need of Management in Tennessee species Least Bittern, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, and Snowy Egret; raptors of various species and populations including the In Need of Management in Tennessee Mississippi Kite and Bald Eagle (largest wintering site in Tennessee); marsh birds including the In Need of Management in Tennessee King Rail and Common Moorhen; bottomland species among them the In Need of Management in Tennessee Cerulean Warbler and Swainson's Warbler; exceptional habitat of bottomland hardwoods; waterfowl by the hundreds of thousands; wading birds by the hundreds; shorebirds by the thousands; gulls by the tens of thousands; and a full complement of neotropical migrants and wintering species. Documentation is contained in the Reelfoot Lake Complex and the Least Tern sites.
    Notable numbers of species and individuals within the county, not associated with a described site include:
        Census: Within Lake County only on May 11, 2003 (140 species). Within Lake County only on May 8, 2004 (152 species)!
        American White Pelican: November 2, 2003 (1,082 total) some in Dyer County.
        Geese: Numbers--February 5, 2005 (3,500).
            Greater White-fronted Goose: February 5, 2005 (165+).
            Snow Goose: February 5, 2005 (645+).
            Ross's Goose: February 5, 2005 (76+ 36).
        Wading Birds:
            Cattle Egret: August 14-26, 1994 (2,600+) roost
        Gulls:
            Franklin's Gulls: November 2, 2003 (3,145).
        Terns: Numbers--August 21, 2005--4 species (173)
        Lapland Longspur: December 28-29, 2002 (flocks totaling 7,000); February 16, 2003 (5,000-6,000).

Least Tern Survey in Mississippi River
Along Lake County Border 2001-2005

Lake
County

Number birds
Lake County
side of river

Number birds
Missouri
side of river
by Lake County

Total Birds
along
Lake County
border

2001365168533
2002150347497
2003222447669
2004234212446
2005138737875

 

Lake County and Obion County
Reelfoot Lake Complex


Approved under the umbrella IBA site Mississippi Alluvial Valley:
  February 2006--Yes 7  No 0


This page was last updated on 02/18/06.