Manager: Chris Spigner and Austin Prestage
Canal Section is located in Prentiss, Itawamba and Monroe Counties near Fulton. From the intersection of Hwy 78 and Hwy 25 in Fulton, go west on Hwy 78 4.0 miles and exit at the Peppertown Exit on to Hwy 178. On Hwy 178, go east 0.8 miles to the Canal Section WMA headquarters on the left. If you have any questions regarding Canal Section call (662) 862-2723.
The Canal Section Wildlife Management Area (CSWMA) is in northeast Mississippi along the west side of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Starting at Highway 4 below the Bay Springs Lake lock and dam in Tishomingo County, it continues southward through Prentiss, Itawamba and Monroe counties and ends approximately five miles south of Aberdeen.
The 30,000 acres of CSWMA are primarily hardwood and swamp bottomland with shallow meandering streams and open lands which were previously farmed. North of Amory, habitat is mostly bottomland hardwood. The open areas south of Amory were reforested in hardwood tree species in the early 1990's. These different natural habitats, along with man-made waterfowl impoundments and numerous summer and winter food plots account for why deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit and waterfowl are the most hunted species of animals on the area.
Due to the loss of bottomland hardwood in the region, squirrel hunting on CSWMA is very popular and successful. Deer hunting on the area is good, with seasons and bag limits the same as statewide. There are some restrictions on weapon usage in certain areas. For deer hunting, see specific regulation descriptions for these areas. When migrating ducks are passing through, waterfowl hunting can be as good as it gets. If you scout the area well, you can find isolated sloughs and pockets of water that can offer good shooting. Waterfowl may be hunted on the entire area each day from one-half hour before sunrise until 12:00 p.m. and in accordance with federal regulations. Turkey hunting has been a favorite attraction of the area for lots of sportsmen because of the bottomland habitat and numerous gobbling birds. Just don't let those slough runs cut you off from that lonesome gobbler.
Vehicular access points to the area (especially north of Amory) are very limited, but access by boat on the old Tombigbee River and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (TTW) is good. Walking or cycling along the TTW levee is your best access option if you do not have a boat.
Wildlife management objectives on the area include habitat manipulation through scattered isolated selective timber harvests to create openings that will be allowed to reforest in native vegetation. These cuts will provide browse and cover for many species of wildlife. Controlled burning and bush hogging along the waterway levee provide early succession plant growth for rabbits and turkey.
Springtime opportunities are bird watching, turkey hunting and fishing. The bottomland hardwood habitat is host to many different species of neotropical migrant songbirds. There is an osprey nesting platform at each of the locks along the Canal Section, several of which are used annually.
Bald eagles are not uncommon. Various shorebird and wading birds are found along the waterway, old Tombigbee River, sloughs, marshes and waterfowl impoundments. Catfish fishing is good in the old river and crappie fishing is good in the waterway in the spring.
Turkey hunting can be very good if you don't wait until late in the season when you are apt to spend most of your hunt watching for cottonmouths and slapping mosquitoes and deer flies.
- Rules & Regs for Canal Section WMA
- WMA Interactive Map
- Corps of Engineers Hunting Regulations
- Canal Section Area Map
- Canal Section Deer Data
- Local Weather
- USGS website for river gauge at Fulton
- National Weather Service website for river gauge at Fulton
- National Weather Service website for river gauge at Bigbee
- Handicapped Hunter Access