McGregor Meadows Waterfowl Production Area (WPA)

McGregor Meadows WPA ditch 512x219

 Aerial view of McGregor Meadows WPA prior to restoration

McGregor Meadows WPA was purchased by Montana Power Company in 1999 and conveyed to the Service as replacement for habitat lost on Flathead WPA. This 799-acre unit consists of 395 acres of wet meadow, 157 acres grasslands, and 245 acres of coniferous forest. Prior to restoration the WPA was a partially drained 450 acre flat wetland with seasonally flooded meadows. Spring migration habitat for waterfowl was totally dependent on the amount of winter snowfall and the date of ice melt. In most years, the marsh was still frozen into late March which meant the WPA provided limited habitat for early migrating species such as Canada Geese, American Pintails and most Mallards. As the ice melted, it did provide habitat for some of the later migrators in mid to late April especially in above average snowfall years.

Restoration of Notellum and Skookum Creek has resulted in improving the riparian as well as the wetland areas of the WPA. The newly constructed stream channels have successfully raised groundwater levels and have improved and restored the floodplain and wetland connectivity. Open water is sustained later into the fall and early winter seasons.

At this time, we are missing critically needed data on riparian and wetland use by birds since the restoration was completed - it is a high priority for refuge staff.
Restoration of Notellum and Skookum Creek

Please note that Northwest Montana Waterfowl Production Areas are closed to all public access from March 1st to July 15th each year to limit disturbance to nesting birds. 

Learn more about the wetland birds of McGregor Meadows WPA