• Canvasback pair

    Canvasback ducks

    Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a great oasis for breeding Canvasback ducks in the Great Basin.

    Learn more

  • Sandhill Crane pair

    Greater Sandhill Cranes

    Cranes arrive in March to stake out their territories and engage in mating dances.

    Learn more

  • Western Terrestrial Garter Snake


    Please drive slowly and watch for snakes migrating across the roads.

    Reptiles and Amphibians page

  • Killdeer and eggs

    Killdeer and Eggs

    Eggs laid in gravel blend well with their surroundings, but have little other cover to protect them from predation.

  • Sage Grouse Hen

    Sage Grouse

    Greater Sage Grouse hens convene at the local lek in the spring to watch males display and strut their stuff.

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Refuge News



Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge is looking for Volunteer(s) for Waterfowl Banding and/or Light Maintenance. For a more detailed description on Volunteer Opportunites ...please click on "What we do," then "Get Involved." If you would like to volunteer, please send a letter of interest or inquires for further information to rubylake@fws.gov or call (775) 779-2237.

Fire Activity

Control Burn Nov 29, 2017

On November 29th, 2017 a prescribed burn was completed on Unit 14 of the marsh to improve habitat conditions. Prescribed fire is a management technique used on the uplands to restore waterfowl nesting habitat, and in the marsh to create open water areas in thick bulrush. Fire plays an important role in maintaining healthy plant communities found on the Refuge. Seeds of some plants require heat to begin the germination process. Nutrients, bound up in dead plant material, are restored to the soil to be used by new plants. Burned areas are the first to become green in the spring because the sun warms the black soil surface which stimulates plant growth. Wildlife, such as Canada geese arrive early in the year when vegetation is still dormant. These geese forage on the green vegetation found in burned areas.

Quagga Mussel Threat

Quagga Mussel

Help prevent the spread of Quagga Mussels by following these steps: 1. Drain the water from your boat motor, live well, and bilge on land before leaving the immediate area of the water you are on. 2. Remove all visible mussels and check for rough or gritty spots. These may be young mussels that are hard to see. 3. Flush the boat hull, motor, bilges and other equipment with hot soapy water. 4. Clean all boat, fishing, and skiing equipment with a 5% bleach solution or water hotter than 104 degrees. 5. Air-Dry your boat, personal watercraft and other equipment for at least five days before moving to a new body of water. 6. Do not re-use bait in a new body of water.

Quagga Mussel Threat
Why we are here

Refuge Purpose and Vision

Canvasback Drake

"...for use as ... a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife." Executive Order 7923, July 2, 1938 "...for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds." 16 U.S.C. ยง 715d (Migratory Bird Conservation Act)

See the refuge Vision Statement

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