Ducks Unlimited hosted a dedication and tour on September this past weekend of the newly-restored wetland on the northwest side of the Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA).
The project provides resting and foraging habitat for spring and fall migrating waterfowl. Managers can control water levels in these renovated wetlands to promote plants most useful to migrating birds and control more invasive plants like cattails. To accomplish this, wetland water levels will vary and even be dry at times.
Ducks Unlimited chose the Ocean Lake project as its celebration site in Wyoming for completion of the Rescue Our Wetlands campaign that raised over $2.34B, and conserved more than 2.2 million acres of habitat over the 7-year period ending in 2018. They recognized formal supporters of the campaign with the unveiling of a special plaque and cairn during the event.
Above photos from Ducks Unlimited
Ocean Lake is part of the approximately 11,000-acre Ocean Lake WHMA in Fremont County, about 17 miles north of Riverton. The WHMA is owned and managed by Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and is open to the public.
“The lake is one of the most important migratory waterfowl stopovers in Wyoming for the Central Flyway,” said Martin Grenier, DU manager of conservation programs for Wyoming and Colorado. “During fall and spring, migrations of up to 13,000 birds like geese, sandhill cranes and ducks use the area.”
“We hope people will come out and view the wetland that will benefit wildlife with additional healthy habitat and benefit recreationists like wildlife watchers and hunters,” says Noelle Smith, project biologist for Ducks Unlimited.
Partners and funders on the project are Ducks Unlimited and its supporters, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Water For Wildlife, and North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department manages many large clusters of natural and man-made wetlands, as well as smaller meadows and the areas along streams and rivers, on our Wildlife Habitat Management Areas. In addition, our new Wyoming Wetland Webpage has many valuable resources, a story map, and lesson plans.