The Roundup -

Repairs to the Fox Lake Wildlife Management Area


Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks used several sources of funding to provide needed repairs to the Fox Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) outside of Lambert.

The repairs were deemed necessary after recent high water years damaged many of the existing structures and dikes. “Fox Lake WMA was in desperate need of repair after the 2011 spring and summer flooding events,’ said Ryan Williamson, FWP area biologist. “The high water severely damaged most of the dikes on the property.”

The repairs and improvement completed this past summer include upgrading five dikes, removal of siltation around water control structures to allow proper function, and the addition of two new parking areas on the north and southeast entrance. The funding for the project was primarily provided by FEMA, along with contributions from Habitat Montana and the Migratory Bird Habitat Program.

Further plans involve cleaning out 13 of the water control structures and hydro-seeding the new dikes in early fall. As a result, temporary regulations are in place to protect the resource and habitat. “We don’t want any off-road use on the new dikes, so the WMA gates will be locked this fall to restrict vehicle use,” said Williamson. “The gates will also be locked in the spring and summer months to protect the habitats and wildlife.”

Because the repairs require water levels to be low, there will be changes in the traditional high use by waterfowl. “Water levels are very low so the WMA will offer little opportunity for waterfowl hunting this coming season,” said Williamson.  “Hunters need to be aware of the restricted access and low hunting opportunity prior to making plans this fall.”

However, with lower water levels, there may be more opportunity to hunt pheasant and deer on the WMA. Good production of cattails and bulrushes will provide cover for many types of wildlife. Walk-in hunting or day use is encouraged from any of the 3 main entrances around the WMA.

“We hope to begin holding water again once the new dikes have healed up and we feel confident that they are safe,” added Williamson. “It will be very exciting to see how these improvements increase the wildlife production on this WMA in the future.”


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