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Kellys Slough
National Wildlife Refuge

Shrubs line the shore of a large wetland at Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge.  The wetland is a mixture of open water and patches of cattails.
221 2nd Street West
Devils Lake, ND   58301
E-mail: devilslake@fws.gov
Phone Number: 701-662-8611
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
This Refuge has been designated as a regional site of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
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Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge

Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established to develop and manage a system of wetlands and grasslands that is unique to the Red River valley. The Refuge supports a diversity of wetland and grassland wildlife, while providing for wildlife-dependent recreation, interpretation, and education. Kellys Slough NWR is located in the heart of the Red River valley. The Refuge contains an intermittent stream that flows into the Turtle River, a tributary of the Red River.

Getting There . . .
Kellys Slough NWR covers portions of Blooming, Lakeville and Rye Townships of Grand Forks County. The main parking area is 8 miles west and 3 miles north of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Signs on U.S. Highway 2 direct visitors to the Refuge, where there is a parking area, an elevated viewing platform, several informational signs, and two walking trails.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Kellys Slough NWR is considered an excellent area to view migratory and breeding waterbirds.

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In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Kellys Slough NWR "as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife."

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Refuge wetlands are managed to provide a variety of water depths. Selected pools may be drained slowly to provide mudflats - moist soil areas with little or no vegetation. These areas are attractive to most shorebirds. Water levels in other pools are maintained throughout the summer months as brood-rearing habitat for nesting waterfowl. In the fall, Refuge staff often discharge water from pools to make shallow staging areas for migratory birds and to make room for the following spring's runoff. This management action allows the Refuge wetlands to store as much water as possible during peak spring flows, and reduce the potential for flooding in communities downstream.

Refuge staff also manage upland areas on the Refuge and nearby WPAs. These areas consist mainly of introduced, cool-season grasses and forbs. These areas are managed using prescribed burning, farming, and haying. Native grasses and forbs have been re-planted on some WPAs.

Three islands have been constructed in two of the Refuge's managed wetlands. These 1-acre islands provide relatively safe nesting areas for species such as mallards, gadwalls, lesser scaup, and Canada geese. Predator trapping is done on Refuge uplands to increase nesting success for ground-nesting birds.