BONNERS FERRY, Idaho – Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is conducting an important habitat conservation project in an effort to improve waterfowl habitat. As a result of the project, fall flooding of the ponds south of Riverside Road has been delayed. A similar project on the refuge last summer resulted in increased populations of ducks at Island Pond.
The hunt area south of Riverside Road will be closed during the youth/Veteran/Military hunt weekend as the project is completed. However, the area north of Riverside Road will be open for the youth/Veteran/Military hunt scheduled for September 24 and 25 and for opening weekend on October 1. The areas south of Riverside Road will be open to waterfowl hunting beginning October 1, but will have limited water during the first week of the regular season. The refuge expects South Pond to be full by October 1 and the remaining ponds to be flooded by October 8.
“As soon as the work is completed on September 26, we will immediately begin flooding the ponds south of Riverside Road,” said Project Leader Kelly Moroney. “The southern portion of the refuge will have limited habitat available until October 8, but will provide some opportunity as the ponds begin to fill. We are working as fast as we can to fully open the hunt area.”
Refuge managers have been improving the water delivery infrastructure and habitat by removingand promoting the growth of native plants that waterfowl eat during their fall and spring migrations. This project is expected to improve the habitat for waterfowl by increasing the amount of plant seeds and invertebrates available for them to eat. As a result, the numbers of resident and visiting waterfowl will increase. The project will also improve refuge managers’ ability to deliver water to the ponds in this part of the refuge.
If you have questions about the fall waterfowl hunting season, please contact the refuge office at (208) 267-3888.
The refuge hunt map is available here