Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Southwest Region, California, Nevada & Klamath Basin

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge


Stillwater NWR is irrigated from April through mid-November to maintain waterfowl and shorebird habitat for nesting, food and cover.

Water from the Carson River flows from the Sierra Nevada range in Eastern California north and east through a series of reservoirs, irrigation canals and ditches before it reaches the Lahontan Valley wetlands, including Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge. The Carson River eventually disappears underground in the Carson Sink, which lies at the north end of Stillwater refuge. Additional water enters the refuge through natural runoff from the Stillwater mountains to the east of the refuge, or in the form of seasonal precipitation. Stillwater NWR is majority owner of water-righted acres within the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District based in Churchill County, NV.

The area surrounding the refuge is very heavily farmed, ranched and irrigated. The Federal Water Rights Acquisition program allows the US Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase lands with water-righted acres from willing sellers, and then transfer the surface water rights to the wetlands. The FWS then can sell the acquired properties (minus the surface water rights) to the highest bidder over the appraised value, through a sealed bid public auction process. Revenue from these land sales helps offset the annual operations and maintenance costs of delivering water to the refuge.


Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge – Wetland Habitat Report
Status as of:  August 30, 2013

HUNT ZONE WETLAND UNIT NAME

ACRES

DEPTH

LEVEL

ACTIVITY

SWAN CHECK

10

N/A

WET

FILLING; heavy cover, not burned

NORTH TULE

900

1.94

WET

FILLING; launches will be available

SOUTH TULE

200

2.00

WET

FILLING; launches will be available

WEST MARSH
(Millen/Willow)

1000

.80

WET

FILLING; Narrows launch may be useable by Oct 12

NAVY CABIN POND – S of Navy Cabin Rd

80

N/A; will be shallow, wadeable

WET

FILLING; not open to boating

HUNT AREA WETLAND ACRES CURRENTLY FILLING = 2190ac.  (15% of total wetlands with water)
TOTAL HUNT AREA WETLAND UNITS AVAILABLE = 15050ac. 


Stillwater NWR runs water into the wetlands from April to November, to provide adequate food, cover and nesting habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds during a critical part of their life cycle. Boating is allowed in the refuge Hunt Area only during waterfowl season.

For the latest habitat and waterfowl updates, please visit our website at: http://www.fws.gov/stillwater/ or call 775-423-5128.


Also see periodic Waterfowl Population Reports on our website for the most recent aerial survey findings. Learn more about NDOW's WMAs at www.ndow.org/wild/habitat/wma/. (external link)

Notes: Call for current road and waterfowl conditions. Refuge roads not maintained regularly in inclement weather and are very muddy, slippery, and rough. Off-road travel within the refuge destroys valuable resources and is strictly prohibited. Refuge speed limit = 25mph or as conditions allow.
Last updated: September 20, 2013