Fergus Falls Wetland Management District
The Fergus Falls Wetland Management District encompasses Otter Tail, Grant, Douglas, Wilkin and Wadena Counties in west central Minnesota. Waterfowl Production Areas are managed for optimum waterfowl production using techniques such as upland cover, water and seasonal predator management.
The WMD lies within the transitional zone between the flat glacial Red River Valley lake bottom to the west and the timbered areas to the east. Within the transitional zone lie glacial moraines that contain many wetlands. These wetlands range from small ephemeral basins to large lakes. The woodlands to the east gradually start as oak savannah phasing into oak-ash communities on the higher sites with willow-tamarack shrub swamps of the lower sites.
Major rivers within the WMD include the Red River of the North, Otter Tail, Pelican, Mustinka and Rabbit, which flow west of the continental divide into the Hudson Bay drainage and the Chippewa, Pomme de Terre, Long Prairie, Wing and Redeye Rivers, which flow east into the Mississippi drainage. This area is rich in buffalo rings, Indian mounds, flintstones and arrowheads due to frequent clashes between the Ojibway and Sioux Indians.
Recreational opportunities in this area include: visitor center, visitor contact station, educational programs, hiking trails, and hunting.
Accessibility: The National Wildlife Refuge System is working to ensure that facilities and programs are accessible to visitors. Please contact the refuge office for information about accessibility at this unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
All WPAs are open year-round to hiking, birdwatching, nature photography and general wildlife observation. These areas are open to hunting of migratory birds, resident upland game, deer and trapping in accordance with state seasons and regulations.
The major habitat management programs include wetland restoration/enhancement and upland management. Wetland management activities include the monitoring and maintenance of approximately 30 water control structures affecting wetlands ranging in size from 3 acres to 300 acres. In addition, thousands of small fresh water prairie wetlands varying from tiny season wetlands of less than an acre in size to semi-permanent and permanent wetlands have been restored via earthen dikes and breakage of agriculture drain tiles. Upland management includes the seeding of locally harvested warm season natural tall grass prairie grasses and associated forbs. These fields and other fields comprised of cool season nature grasses are managed primarily through early spring prescribed fires. Much time is spent mowing and spraying noxious weeds including thistle and leafy spurge. Waterfowl populations are monitored on both refuge lands and private lands each spring by conducting breeding pair counts. Nongame species of grassland birds are also being monitored for abundance and diversity. Nearly all management practices are aimed at benefiting migratory waterfowl and waterbirds.
The District Office is located 2 miles east of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, on State Highway 210.
Route 1, Box 76
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Phone (218) 739-2291
Fax (218) 739-9534
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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