Mermet Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area is an old cypress swamp which
has been made into a waterfowl hunting area. The area was developed
primarily for duck hunting, but several thousand Canada, blue and snow geese frequent
the area each winter. The shallow lake also is very productive for largemouth
bass, channel catfish and most panfish. The lake is closed in October
prior to waterfowl hunting season and is re-opened in December directly
after waterfowl season. The original acreage acquired in 1949, in Massac
County, 0.5 miles southwest of Mermet on U.S. 45, has been increased
to 2,630 acres, of which 690 are permanent water.
of the first major developments at Mermet was the 1962 construction
of a system of levees creating a lake. The lake serves as a reservoir
and a supply of water to temporarily flood two walk-in duck hunting
areas and a duck hunting area with permanent blinds. These permanent blinds
are allocated on a no-charge daily draw system. The water in the lake
is dropped 2 feet each fall to accommodate duck hunters. After waterfowl
season, water is returned to the lake, and due to a normal lack of
rainfall run-off, a system of wells and pumps is used to return the
lake to pool stage.
A few picnic tables with camp stoves are available and there is one
shelter with a group grill. Pit toilets are on the grounds. No drinking water is available. Camping is prohibited.
shallow lake features rip-rap, standing and fallen trees, depressions,
lotus pads and stick-ups. The lake has largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill,
sunfish, channel catfish, buffalo, carp, and other feeder and rough
The area has two trails. The nature preserve has a small ˝-mile, interpretive
trail with tree identification markers and a small boardwalk extending
into the cypress swamp. Another nature area has a 1-mile interpretive
trail with tree identification markers along the way.
The 452-acre lake, with a maximum depth of 12 feet, is a major attraction
at the refuge. Private boats use the four launching ramps and motors
up to 10 HP are permitted. Rental boats, paddles and life jackets are
available from site staff.
During waterfowl season, a check station is in operation and a daily
drawing is held for the no-charge use of the 30 permanent blinds. Two
flooded walk-in areas also are provided. Hunting for dove,
deer, squirrel, rabbit and quail is permitted in designated areas.
Sheet | Sielbeck
Forest Hunter Fact Sheet