National Wildlife Refuge System

Spellman Lake Waterfowl Production Area
Yellow Medicine County, Minn.

The Spellman Lake Waterfowl Production Area is located in Yellow Medicine County and is managed by the Morris Wetland Management District.  The Morris Wetland Management District manages 244 waterfowl production areas covering more than 51,000 acres in the Minnesota counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Yellow Medicine.  For more information about Spellman Lake, or any other waterfowl production area in the Morris Wetland Management District visit their Web site at or by calling them at 320-589-1001.

Information about the Minnesota DNR boat landing or the nearby Spellman Lake WMA can be found by calling the Minnesota DNR office at 507-537-6250.

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Spellman Lake Waterfowl Production Area covers approximately 393 acres, plus two shallow lakes, approximately 7 miles west of Hanley Falls, Minn.  Spellman Lake has a good variety of habitat, including upland grass, seasonal wetlands, wetlands, tree belts and food plots.  The two lakes are meandered – meaning under state control – so, not officially part of the waterfowl production area.  However, they are open to public access for hunting and other recreation.

The waterfowl production area is open for hunting in accordance with all Minnesota hunting regulations.  An additional requirement for all waterfowl production areas is that non-toxic shot must be used in shotguns for ALL hunting.  The use, or possession, of any shotgun shells that are not listed as a federally-approved non-toxic shot is illegal on all waterfowl production areas.

Finding the WPA: 
From the north, take County Road 18 west from Hanley Falls for approximately 7.4 miles to 440th Street.  Follow 440th Street south for one mile to the parking lot (shown on map).

From the south, follow County Road 2 to County Road 8 north.  Stay on County Road 8 traveling north for approximately two miles (you will enter the WPA) then follow 455th Street north (this is the eastern boundary of the WPA) around to parking lot on the north end of the WPA.

There is a Minnesota DNR boat access on the western side of the upper lake.  This is accessible by local township roads.  Parking is available at the boat launch.

Respect private property:
The boundary of this waterfowl production area is clearly marked.  There is a small piece of private property in the northwest corner of this waterfowl production area.  Please act responsibly and honor the WPA boundary. Straying onto private land without permission can harm relationships with our private landowner neighbors. Positive, constructive relationships with these neighbors play an important role in the well-being of wildlife and the future of hunting.

Hunting opportunities:
As part of a joint project between the Minnesota DNR, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a water control structure was installed on the lake in 2006.  The water level was lowered last year – and continues to be lowered this year – to remove carp and invasive minnows that have destroyed vegetation on which waterfowl feed.  Because of this water control effort, both lakes are shallow and access is very difficult.  A very dedicated waterfowler, prepared to drag a boat through lots of deep mud and vegetation, could get to open water and would likely find good populations of ducks and geese.  If a good carp and minnow winter kill occurs this year, water levels will be returned to normal levels and waterfowl hunters will find easier access – and likely many more waterfowl – next year.

Good pheasant hunting can be found throughout the waterfowl production area.  Marsh edges, grassland around the old building site and areas around the food plot along the northern side of the lower lake can be particularly productive.

White-tailed deer are also found throughout the waterfowl production area.  Permanent stands or blinds are not allowed.  The use of nails, wire, screws, or bolts to attach a stand to a tree or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven to support a hunter is also prohibited.  Portable or temporary hunting blinds or stands are permitted, but must be removed at the end of each day's hunt.

Please act responsibly
In addition to wetlands, grassland vegetation (for nesting use) is also critical to waterfowl. Parking in designated areas limits damage to this critical vegetation and reduces travel lanes for predators (red fox, skunk, and raccoon) preying on ground-nesting birds. All outdoor enthusiasts, including hunters, bird watchers and hikers, should use the same parking areas.

Follow good hunting courtesy, safety rules and ethics.  If one WPA is saturated with hunters, try another. Never hesitate to stop hunting short of a limit. Concentrate on taking only drakes; increasing hen numbers improve the prospect of higher waterfowl production for years to come. Report violators! They are detrimental to all and are a threat to the future of hunting. Pick up your empty shotshells and remove any trash you find as you enjoy your hunt. Return often, and bring a friend, to enjoy the outdoor wonders waterfowl production areas offer to everyone.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 97-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 548 national wildlife refuges and thousands of waterfowl production areas and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

Buy a Federal Duck Stamp and tell all your friends to do the same.

Last updated: November 8, 2012