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Chase Lake Wetland Management District - Woodworth, North Dakota
   

Wetlands

Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) offer diverse habitats that attract and produce a variety of migratory and resident wildlife. Wetlands vary in size, shape, and permanence, and thus provide benefits to wildlife all year. Temporary wetlands provide waterfowl pairs with a quick source of protein for egg production; seasonal wetlands provide the food needed during egg laying periods; semi-permanent wetlands provide brood-rearing habitat; and permanent wetlands provide safe resting areas during migration. When these wetlands are dry they provide important winter cover for upland game birds and white-tailed deer. Wetlands, also known as marshes, sloughs, potholes, and ponds, dominate much of the landscape in the Refuge. They are important in many ways and vary greatly by size and type.

Photo of ducks in a wetland - Photo Credit:  Ducks Unlimited
Photo courtesy of Ducks Unlimited

The benefits of wetlands are not exclusive to wildlife. Wetlands act as "nature's sponges and filters" by attenuating flood waters, reducing erosion, removing sediments and pollutants, and recharging groundwater. Wetlands also support countless recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, trapping, bird watching, and photography. They also provide valuable livestock water and produce an abundance of forage.

Many areas of the District support high densities of wetlands. The rolling hummocks of the Missouri Coteau enclose countless depressions or potholes formed when the Wisconsinan glacier stalled over the area during its retreat 10,000 years ago. The melting glacier left behind numerous wetland basins between areas of glacial till. Because of the characteristic rolling grassy hills and rocky soils, land use in the Missouri Coteau is predominantly pasture and hayland. Because of this traditional land use, the Missouri Coteau region still contains abundant grassland and wetland resources.






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