Franz Lake Refuge is located in southwest Washington State, within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The refuge was established in 1990, and contains a total of 590 acres. The refuge provides a variety of habitats including riparian woodlands, riverine wetlands, and transitional woodlands from lower elevation willows to mid-elevation mature fir and cedar forests. The refuge hosts native understory shrub communities, open meadows, and numerous streams and seeps.
Franz and Arthur lakes contain healthy stands of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia) which provide a critical habitat component for wintering tundra swans and other waterfowl. Other wildlife commonly observed on the refuge include great blue herons, gulls, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and numerous songbirds. Several springs and seeps on the refuge have been identified as important brood and rearing areas for juvenile salmon.