Resource Management

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Management emphasis is to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl. Of special concern are the habitat needs for dusky Canada geese, a subspecies which nests in the Copper River delta of Alaska and winters along the lower Columbia River and Willamette River valley in Oregon.


The Refuge currently manages water levels on about 1,000 acres of wetlands on the River S, Bachelor Island, and Ridgeport Dairy Unit. Water is pumped in to Refuge wetlands prior to the arrival of wintering waterfowl and pumped out in the early summer to promote the growth of desirable moist soil waterfowl food plants. Water control structures can provide management of water levels within the wetlands. The water delivery system provides water to wetlands during the winter for a variety of water birds, and is used to hold water in some units for vegetation management, rearing of ducks, and to support native amphibians/reptiles.

Cooperating farmers and Refuge staff manage approximately 1,500 acres of grasslands and crop to provide for wintering waterfowl. The refuge allows cooperators to graze cattle and harvest hay between late spring and early fall; and both cooperators and refuge staff mow pasture and canarygrass. These activities provide short, tender grass for Canada geese when they are on the refuge from October through April.

The Refuge contains several large blocks of native riparian forests. Riparian forest range from mixed species of native trees to nearly pure stands of mature ash and willow. These habitats are nurtured along the margins of the Columbia River and within the undiked bottomlands of the Refuge. These areas attract a diverse array of neotropical songbirds.

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information.