The Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge protects habitat for several species that are found only in the Upper Muddy River Valley including the Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea
), Moapa speckled dace (Crenichthys baileyi moapae
), Moapa pebble snail (Pyrgulopsis avernalis
), Moapa water strider (Rhagovelia becki
), and the Moapa naucorid (Usingerina moapensis
). The group of springs within the Refuge is called the Warm Springs. All of the Warm Springs were modified and altered prior to establishment of the area as a wildlife refuge.
In coordination with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Otis Bay developed a site plan for visitation including parking areas, shade shelters, group use areas, educational kiosks, trails, and an aquatic habitat viewing chamber. The viewing chamber is the center piece of the site plan where the public will be able to view the Moapa dace and other native aquatic species in their restored habitat. The primary goal of this project is to increase public awareness and appreciation of the unique assemblage of species that occur within the refuge as well as throughout the upper Muddy River valley.
The construction of the viewing chamber and restoration of associated spring outflow channels was completed in 2006. The visitor center includes a parking area, information kiosk, picnic area, and trails designed by Otis Bay, and is now open to the public. Visitor information is available on the USFWS Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge page.