About the Refuge


Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located on the heavily glaciated rolling plains of northeastern Montana, between the Missouri River and the Canadian border. The Refuge, established in 1935, provides important breeding and stopover habitat for a diverse array of migratory birds. Medicine Lake NWR encompasses 31,702 acres and consists of two separate tracts. The 28,438-acre north tract includes the 8,218-acre Medicine Lake, as well as 17 smaller water units.

Medicine Lake NWR was set aside to protect the wildlife heritage of the United States. A valuable part of protecting that heritage includes providing opportunities for people to enjoy wildlife through photography, observation, hunting, fishing, and environmental education. The annual migration of hundreds of thousands of birds makes Medicine Lake a premier destination for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. Waterfowl and upland bird hunters also find quality opportunities. Winter brings ice fishing opportunities for northern pike in Medicine Lake.