Wildlife & Habitat
Steigerwald Lake NWR was created in 1987, and contains over 1,000 acres of historic lakebed, river bottomland habitat, and oak woodlands. This refuge supports anadromous fish migration, breeding neotropical birds, and migrating and wintering ducks, geese, and other birds. Winter concentrations of geese may peak at several thousand birds. Wintering geese at Steigerwald Lake Refuge are predominately cackling geese (formerly cackling Canada geese). The Refuge generally winters dabbling ducks, however, rafts of divers escape to the Refuge when the Gorge winds create choppy river conditions. Herons forage in the area year-round and frequent the Refuge from a nearby nesting colony. The open view of the Refuge offer great viewing for raptors. Summer visitors to the Columbia River Dike Trail are able to enjoy raucous aerial displays of nesting purple martins.