Regional Offices > Lander Region > Lander Region News > Burn scheduled at Ocean Lake WHMA

Burn scheduled at Ocean Lake WHMA

February 13, 2019
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Burn will improve habitat for waterfowl

Lander - To increase habitat quality for waterfowl and hunting opportunities for sportsmen, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S Forest Service) will perform a prescribed burn on Ponds 1, 2 and 4 at Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) in February or March.

Ocean Lake WHMA is managed primarily for waterfowl production. Prescribed fire is part of a cattail management program that aims to increase wetland productivity and health. Similar prescribed burns have been performed in past years. These burns improve waterfowl habitat by removing old vegetation, increasing plant diversity and providing nutrient rich forage for waterfowl and shorebirds.

Pond vegetation at Ocean Lake WHMA is composed almost entirely of cattails. Cattail encroachment has reduced open water available for waterfowl nesting and foraging. Following burning, cattail densities will be reduced to approximately 30 percent of current levels resulting in increased open water, vegetative diversity and forage availability. 

Smoke from the prescribed burn will be visible from surrounding areas, including the town of Riverton. Residents should expect temporary smoke in the vicinity of the burn.  Some roads within Ocean Lake WHMA may be closed for use by fire personnel and public safety. The prescribed burn at Ponds 1, 2 and 4 is anticipated to take one to two days to complete. Dates will be subject to weather conditions.

Find out more about the Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area. 

- WGFD -

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