Grays Lake NWR, created in 1965, is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to protect a portion of the historic Grays Lake marsh and provide resting and feeding habitat for migrating waterfowl.
The large expansive wetland habitats within this montane marsh attract numerous bird species, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, including the largest breeding concentration of Sandhill cranes in North America. The Service has documented almost 250 species of birds on the Refuge, of which approximately 100 species known to nest within its boundaries. The Refuge provides significant habitat for breeding waterfowl in the late spring and early summer, and nesting habitat for colonial birds, including a large mixed colony of white-faced ibis and Franklin’s gulls.
The Refuge provides opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation including wildlife observation, wildlife photography and waterfowl hunting. Visitation is estimated at less than 5,000 per year.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
Every was created for a special purpose. Some were created to protect migratory birds, others to protect threatened or endangered species or unique habitats, while others fulfill another special purpose. All activities allowed on refuges must be evaluated to make sure each activity will not conflict with the reason the refuge was founded.
Grays Lake NWR was established in 1965 through a Refuge Use Cooperative Agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and local landowners.
Other Facilities in this Complex
Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Southeast Idaho NWR Complex. The Southeast Idaho National Wildlife Refuge Complex administers five units of the Refuge System: Bear Lake, Grays Lake, Camas, and Minidoka refuges, and Oxford Slough Waterfowl Production Area. The complex office is located in Chubbuck, Idaho, and can be reached at 208-237-6615.