U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Anaho Island
National Wildlife Refuge

Pyramid Lake Hwy (State Rte 445)
About 30 miles north of
Reno, NV   
E-mail: stillwater@fws.gov
Phone Number: 775-423-5128 X231
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge

Anaho Island Refuge is a rocky island that rises from the waters of Pyramid Lake in Washoe County, Nevada. The refuge was established for the benefit and protection of colonial nesting species and other migratory birds.

It supports breeding colonies of American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, California gulls, Caspian terns, great blue herons, black-crowned night-herons, and snowy egrets. The pelican colony is one of the two largest in the western United States.

Getting There . . .
Anaho Island Refuge is closed to public access to protect colonial nesting birds, and boating is also prohibited within 500 feet of the island. The refuge is visible from any point along Pyramid Lake.

From Reno/Sparks, Nevada, follow the Pyramid Lake Highway (State Route 445) north approximately 30 miles. You can view Anaho Island from the highway viewpoint.

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Wildlife and Habitat

The island supports one of the largest breeding colonies of American white pelicans in the western United States.

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The 247-acre island was set aside by President Woodrow Wilson as a preserve and breeding ground for colony-nesting birds. In 1940, Anaho Island was redesignated as a national wildlife refuge. Public Law 101-618, passed in 1990, recognized Anaho Island as part of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation to be administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System under an agreement with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

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The refuge is closed to the public.

Recreation and Education Opportunities
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Management Activities
In 1974, a proposal to designate Anaho Island as wilderness was presented to Congress. To this date it has neither been enacted nor dismissed. Current management of the island maintains is wilderness value as a roadless island.

Resource values are maintained by natural processes. Refuge staff and volunteers monitor the colonial bird breeding activity, nest production, and post-nesting mortality from late February through August. Because of the isolation of the island and its lack of human disturbance, they also monitor Anaho Island's vegetative composition and abundance compared them to upland habitats adjacent to Pyramid Lake. Staff and volunteers also also band 400 preflight juvenile American white pelicans in late July or early August.