U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Deer Flat
National Wildlife Refuge

Western grebes and American white pelican in smartweed at Lake Lowell.
13751 Upper Embankment Rd
Nampa, ID   83686 - 8046
E-mail: deerflat@fws.gov
Phone Number: 208-467-9278
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Western grebes and American white pelican in smartweed at Lake Lowell.
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  Wildlife and Habitat

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The climate is arid to semiarid (about 9 inches of annual precipitation, mostly light snowfall and spring rain). Summers are dry, sunny, and warm; winters in the valley are cool and mild compared to the surrounding higher elevations.

Lake Lowell is fed by water from the Boise River through the New York Canal, forming one of the largest off-stream impoundments in the West. The Bureau of Reclamation manages lake water for irrigation. Normal lake operation provides for the habitat needs of a wide variety of migratory birds. During spring and summer, water is released from Lake Lowell to irrigate surrounding farm fields. This slow draw-down of the lake exposes mudflats that provide abundant habitat for shorebirds.

The Snake River Islands Unit encompasses 104 islands along 113 miles of the Snake River in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon. Objectives are to preserve and maintain habitat for all native species. The islands (<1 acre to 58 acres, 4-10 feet above mean river level) are especially important to nesting Canada geese of the southwest Idaho flock. Upstream islands have grass/sagebrush centers and are ringed by willow and other riparian vegetation. Downstream islands are more heavily vegetated, with grassy centers bordered by larder trees such as willows, cottonwoods, and Russian olives.

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