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  • Mardon Skipper Promo

    Mardon Skippers

    Small and seldom seen, the Mardon skipper is having a tough time hanging on in Washington. Conboy Lake NWR is one of its last strongholds.

    Mardon Skipper

  • Elk In Aspen Promo

    Rocky Mountain Elk

    Massive antlers, bodies weighing up to 700 pounds, shaggy manes, distinctive calls—it's no wonder everyone loves elk.

    Rocky Mountain Elk

  • Sandhill Cranes Promo 2

    Sandhill Cranes

    Wolves and geese notwithstanding, the call of a Sandhill crane is the call of the wild.

    Sandhill Cranes

  • Western Gray Squirrel Promo

    Western Gray Squirrel

    However you might feel about squirrels—love 'em, hate 'em—the fact remains this is a species that needs our help.

    Western Gray Squirrel

Want To Know About . . .

Watching Wildlife

Deer Illustration

Want to see more animals on your trip to Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge? Here are some tips from the "experts."

Watching Wildlife

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuges

The Mid-Columbia River Refuges are eight refuges within the Columbia Basin.

Conboy Lake is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuges.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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Enjoying Conboy Lake

  • Spring

    Spring Frog

    Spring is the perfect time to visit Conboy Lake. The weather might not always cooperate, but there of plenty of things to see. The Sandhill cranes arrive in early March, and it's the best time to see their courtship dances and hear their trumpeting call. Pacific chorus frogs begin their raucous calling, particularly in the evening and at night. In April, the number of elk in the area peaks around 300. They are hard to miss! Camas and buttercup begin to bloom in May, creating blankets of blue and yellow. It is also a good time to see migratory songbirds as they pass through, and maybe even catch a glimpse of great horned owl youngsters.

  • Comprehensive Conservation (Management) Plan

    Comprehensive Conservation PlanJanuary 05, 2015

    We’ve completed our new management plan for Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge! This plan, known as a comprehensive conservation plan, will guide management for the next 15 years or so. For the most part, we believed things were running pretty smooth, so you won’t find a lot of changes for the refuge. Most of the changes are aimed at improving habitat conditions for specific species, like Sandhill cranes and Oregon spotted frogs. However, there are some improvements coming for visitors, as well, the main one being opening more of the refuge for public access. But before you start lacing up your hiking shoes, know that we still have some work to do, so it’ll be a bit.

    Comprehensive Conservation Planning
Page Photo Credits — Elk Herd - Lisa Wilson, Mardon Skipper Butterfly - Stefan Flores, Oregon Spotted Frog - Gary Nafis, Elk in Aspen - Pam Morris, Sandhill Crane - Marvin De Jong, Western Gray Squirrel - Alan & Elaine Wilson, Sandhill Crane Colt - Dan Irizarry, Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log House - Chuck and Grace Bartlett 
Last Updated: Mar 16, 2015


  • 2015 Events Calendar

    Snowy Owl - EventsJanuary 01, 2015

    We've summarized our of events for you in PDF format. Things do change, so please look at the event details in the calendar.

    2015 Events Calendar (PDF)
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