At eighteen miles long and six miles wide, Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde County is the state's largest freshwater lake. Total water surface is 40,000 acres. Beginning in 1789, many unsuccessful attempts have been made to drain it for other uses, particularly farming. In 1933, the last draining attempt failed, and in 1934, the federal government created the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge. The lake is a haven for many waterfowl, especially Canadian geese. In the 1960s, Mattamuskeet was briefly the goose hunting capital of the world, with over 130,000 geese wintering there. Over the years the population has declined, with only 17,000 wintering there in 1985.