Mathews Brake NWR, established in 1980, encompasses 2,418 acres in west-central Mississippi. The major natural feature of the refuge is Mathews Brake, a 1,810 acre oxbow lake. The shallow lake consist of baldcypress and water tupelo trees in the deeper portions, with buttonbush, American lotus, and swamp privet thickets in more shallow water. The refuge manages the water level in the brake to promote moist soil plants and to sustain the oak component for migratory birds. Other habitat types include 422 acres of bottomland hardwood and 186 acres of early successional reforested areas. The refuge is the largest brake in Leflore County and often winters over 30,000 ducks annually. Neotropical migrants and resident wildlife are also found throughout the refuge. Hunting and fishing are the most popular programs on the refuge.