Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon.
Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, was established in 1969 for wildlife habitat lost to flooding caused by the construction of the John Day Lock and Dam. The 25,347 acre refuge, located in the arid Columbia Basin of northeast Oregon and southeast Washington astride the Columbia River, includes open water, shallow marshes, backwater sloughs, croplands, islands, and shrub-steppe uplands. Migrating waterfowl, bald eagle, colonial nesting birds, migratory songbirds, resident wildlife and rare and endangered species can be found on the refuge. It is strategically located within the Pacific Flyway to provide Arctic nesting geese and ducks a wintering site and a resting stopover.
The Boardman Unit is accessed from the Tower Road exit off Highway 84 approximately 3 miles west of the town of Boardman, Oregon. The McCormack Unit is located 3 miles south of Highway 730 off of Patterson Ferry Road near Irrigon, Oregon. The Patterson, Ridge, and Whitcomb Island units are all accessed from Highway 14 in Washington. The Columbia River portion is accessible by boat. Boat ramps are located in Irrigon and Umatilla, Oregon; in Plymouth, Washington; and on the Patterson Unit in Washington. Most areas of the refuge are very remote with no restroom or drinking water facilities. There is no public drinking water available. Refuge visitors should plan their trips accordingly.