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Fish Springs
National Wildlife Refuge

A male northern pintail stands on the shore of a wetland.  Males have a brown head with a white line coming up the neck. Their black tail is long and pointed.
P.O. Box 568
Dugway, UT   84022
E-mail: fishsprings@fws.gov
Phone Number: 435-831-5353
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Northern pintails pair up with their mates on wintering areas. The male then follows the female to her breeding area.
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Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located at the southern end of the Great Salt Lake Desert, was established in 1959 to provide habitat for migrating and wintering birds. The Refuge is named for the native Utah chub that is found throughout the Refuge springs and impoundments. Totaling 17,992 acres, the Refuge supports 10,000 acres of lush, spring-fed wetlands, a critical habitat in the arid Great Basin. The water from the springs is brackish and warm.

The Refuge has a very rich cultural history. Native American tribes are thought to have occupied the area more than 10,000 years ago. Modern inhabitation dates back to 1861.

Getting There . . .
From Salt Lake City, follow Interstate 80 west to the junction of Utah Highway 36 at Exit 99. Take Utah Highway 36 south for approximately 40 miles to the intersection of the Pony Express Road, just east of Faust. Turn right and follow the gravel road for approximately 61 miles to the Refuge entrance.

From Delta, take U.S. Highway 6 north to the intersection with Utah Highway 174. Turn left on Utah Highway 174 and follow approximately 42 miles to the end of the paved road. Continue straight on the gravel road for approximately 15 miles to the junction with the Pony Express Road. Turn left and proceed approximately 3/4 mile to the Refuge entrance. The Refuge headquarters is approximately seven miles from the east entrance.

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The marshes of Fish Springs NWR are truly an oasis in the desert. Several springs, fed by underground water that fell as precipitation thousands of years ago, provide important breeding, migrating, and wintering habitat for a diverse array of birds and other wildlife.

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Amazingly, the current site of the Fish Springs marshes was some 850 feet under the water of prehistoric Lake Bonneville approximately 35,000 years ago. About 13,000 years before present, Lake Bonneville began to drain and evaporate. By 11,400 years ago, the remnant of the lake had receded to create the Fish Springs marshes.

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Management Activities
Fish Springs NWR management efforts are geared toward maintenance of a viable and productive wetland habitat. To maintain this complex system of wetlands, the Refuge staff maintains more than 40 miles of dikes, roads, and ditches and more than 115 water control structures!

Wildlife census efforts are an ongoing project with waterfowl, shorebirds, and migratory songbirds as focus species. Recently, Refuge staff has begun to study the Refuge's small mammal, reptile, and amphibian populations. Efforts to modify the habitat and reestablish populations of the threatened least chub have been ongoing since 1998.