Waterfowl hunting is limited this year due to extreme drought conditions throughout Nevada. Stillwater NWR received less than 40% of their normal water deliveries, as a result of less than 30% snowpack in the Sierra Nevada range during winter 2013-14.
Retrieval Zone closure: a reminder that a designated 'Retrieval Zone' exists north of Division Rd from road edge north for 200yds. to the marked signs in the desert. No loaded firearms are allowed in this area for the entire 6mi. length of Division Rd. No hunting is allowed along the south side of Division into the refuge sanctuary.
South Nutgrass Lake is the primary wetland unit in the hunt zone to receive water this season. As of October 21, water deliveries have ended for the year, and this unit is full at a depth of 1.92 ft. Water is now moving through the coffer into West Nutgrass; this unit is open to hunting and easily accessed via Pintail Rd from the West parking area, about a 100yd walk beyond the cable gate.
Rice and Olano's Landing boat launches into S. Nutgrass are accessible off of Navy Cabin Road, for all types of boats (airboat with a Special Use Permit, motorized and nonmotorized craft). Use caution when launching and navigating the access channels as submerged objects, vegetation and sand bars could be dangerous.
Boats are allowed to launch at 5am each morning; access by foot is allowed at any time to set out decoys, make temporary blinds from natural materials, but you are not allowed to camp (either in or near your vehicle) to hold a spot in the hunt area outside of a designated overnight area. The nearest overnight area to South Nutgrass is approx. 1 mile south at the Division Rd/Nutgrass Rd intersection. No facilities other than a vault toilet, trash can and info board are available here.
Water deliveries ended October 16; be aware of daily changing water levels and use caution when walking across wet or muddy areas as the saturated soils below the water surface are very soft and you will sink in the thick mud. Use a walking stick or other means to gauge water depth and footing.
The new floating walkway and platform at S. Nutgrass will NOT be open for public use this year as it remains under construction. Do not attempt to walk on or use this structure since the safety features have not been installed. Barricades will be posted.
Dog owners, please read the article in the link below for an important health warning about a bacterial infection common in warm weather and shallow water, both of which the refuge experiences in the early Fall hunt season.