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Lake Nettie National Wildlife Refuge




Lake Nettie National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - Historically, the area was glaciated pothole country. Today, natural runoff in the spring causes habitat flooding and maintains water levels in Mud Lake marshes which are part of the flow through Turtle Creek drainage.


Additional open water habitat is provided by the 400 acre Lake Nettie which is a closed basin, semi-saline and highly productive of sag pondweed. Local natural and man-made drainage supplies water to Lake Nettie and the adjoining, privately owned Little Crooked Lake.


The refuge's wetland complex of 1,285 acres produces and supports many waterfowl and other species of birds and mammals. Nettie's proximity to Lake Audubon (5 miles to the east) makes both refuges more significant as migrational rest areas.


The refuge provides a site for educational classroom studies. Summer programs for continuing education for teachers have been conducted in recent years.


About 1984, eighteen islands were constructed in Mud Lake by Ducks Unlimited to provide predator free nesting sites for water birds. Nettie is important because of it's large native grassland and wetland base and it's potential for management.

Location - Lake Nettie NWR is located in west central North Dakota approximately eight miles north and 4.5 west of the community of Turtle Lake.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I happened upon Lake Nettie NWR, which was not on my ND map, while trying to find Audubon NWR birding my way back to Williston on Sunday, July 15, 2001. I pulled into the refuge at ~7:30pm. I first noticed the lush greenery & volume of waterfowl, especially American Coots (including lots of downy young paddling around) and Black Terns who immediately began to send a raucous alarm call across the whole area. One particularly aggressive one kept dive-bombing me; I wondered if it was bluff, or if I should have a hat! Fortunately, bluff. One Coot clacked its jaw repeatedly (an alarm?), with a metallic sound that I had to see to id. Pairs of Western, Eared and Pied-Billed Grebes w/ young. Only the Eared moves neck to & fro with paddling. MANY pairs of the goofy-looking Ruddy Duck w/ young--Splendid! What are the males doing when they dip & slurp water in jerks so noisily? They dove to feed, like females. 1 pr. of Marsh Wrens--their alarm call spread through the marsh! 5 female Shovelers swimming together, but saw no male. Driving ~2/3 up the road, I saw an owl on ground, stopped to let it light again, get closer. It let me sneak up, flew to phone pole, back down to ground with 3 others. Not Burrowing Owls, but N. Saw-Whets, 2 adults & 2 juvs.! The juv. masked faces & rusty breast unmistakeable! They leaned forward & bobbed heads around at me & my binocs. Awesome! Bring a telephoto!


More Information

Contact Information:
Lake Nettie NWR, RR 1, P.O. Box 16 , Coleharbor, ND, 58531, Phone: 701-442-5474
, r6rw_adb@fws.gov

Additional Information:
North Dakota Wildlife Refuges -

Links:
Audubon WMD - Official agency website

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