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Chase Lake Wetland Management District - Woodworth, North Dakota

Waterfowl Production Areas

Waterfowl Production Area Sign.

Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) preserve wetlands and grasslands critical to waterfowl and other wildlife.

These public lands, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, became part of the National Wildlife Refuge System in 1966 through the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act.

Funds to acquire WPAs are provided by the 1934 Duck Stamp Act which was amended by Congress in 1958 to authorize acquisition of uplands and wetlands as WPAs.

Nearly 95% of the WPAs are located in the prairie pothole areas of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. North Dakota alone has 39% of the Nation's WPAs. The Chase Lake Wetland Management District (WMD) has a total of 136 WPAs for a total of 43,344 acres. The smallest WPA is 0.97 acres (Medicine Lake) and the largest is 3,013 acres (Chase Lake).

WPAs, often referred to as the "Prairie Jewels of the Refuge System," are open to a variety of public uses including hunting, fishing and trapping. These uses are subject to all applicable state and federal laws. Small game hunters using shotguns are required to use and possess only approved non-toxic shot while on WPAs. Other public uses include wildlife observation, interpretation, photography and environmental education.

WPAs are managed to attract and produce migratory waterfowl, migratory non-game birds and resident wildlife. Management techniques such as prescribed burning and grazing, haying, planting nesting cover, noxious weed control, installing and repairing water control structures are just a few of the activities performed in the WMD.

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