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Wildlife Branch


Wildlife Management Areas

Interlake Region

Broad Valley 4,103 ha
8 km southwest of Fisher Branch

White-tailed deer and elk make significant use of the WMA in winter. It has a lush aspen forest interspersed with numerous wetlands, including Otter Lake which provides staging habitat for waterfowl, pelicans, and shorebirds. The aspen forest is productive ruffed grouse habitat and fills with songbirds in spring and summer.

Basket Lake 7,260 ha
6.4 km west of Homebrook, north of PR 328

Elk, moose, white-tailed deer, grouse and waterfowl are found in this area. Great blue herons, ring-billed gulls and several grebe species nest here. The wetlands are home to numerous frog species and uplands are used by garter snakes. Basket Lake itself is shallow and marshy, while the surrounding uplands are dominated by aspen and poplar with numerous willow and grassy runs. Also found are stands of jack pine, and much of the area shows evidence of repeated wild fires.

Clematis 5,373 ha
8km northwest of Inwood, west of PTH 17

This WMA provides important winter habitat for white-tailed deer, and is also used by coyotes and a variety of furbearers. Snowshoe hares and upland game birds such as ruffed and sharp-tailed grouse are also common throughout the area. It is occasionally used by elk and black bears. The karst topography provides hibernacula or dens for garter snakes. Aspen is the dominant tree species, with the common shrub species being chokecherry, saskatoon and bog birch. It contains several wetlands dominated by sedges and bulrushes.

Dog Lake 12,864 ha
16 km southwest of Ashern, off PTH 68

This WMA is internationally recognized as a nesting and staging area for colonial waterbirds such as white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, great blue herons, great egrets, and various gull species. Consisting of the waters of Dog Lake and all of the islands, the initial purpose of this WMA was to provide a safe area for nesting and migrating waterfowl. The islands on Dog Lake have been a bird sanctuary since 1957 and game bird hunting continues to be prohibited on any of them. The lake played a vital role in the recovery of giant Canada goose populations in the Interlake.

Grahamdale 1,502 ha
5km northeast of Grahamdale

The WMA is used by snakes, white-tailed deer and upland game birds. The area consists of aspen covered ridges interspersed with grassy meadows, and areas of rock outcrop. The dominant vegetation in the area is trembling aspen, but jack pine, white spruce, balsam poplar and alder are also found in the area. There are a few shallow marshes and moose are occasionally seen.

Grants Lake 395 ha
3km northeast of Meadows

Grants Lake is a major waterfowl staging area, particularly for snow geese. Most of the WMA consists of wetland, but there are several young poplar and willow stands. It also provides habitat for a variety of shorebird species. A cooperative habitat development project was undertaken with Ducks Unlimited Canada involving the excavation of several small ponds and level ditches. Nesting islands were also constructed. The Department of Natural Resources operates a managed hunting program around the perimeter of the WMA, while the lake is a game bird refuge.

Gypsumville 2,461 ha
3km north of Gypsumville

This WMA was established to preserve habitat for white-tailed deer, black bears, waterfowl, grouse and muskrats. Moose also use the area from time to time. Trembling aspen and scattered stands of white spruce or jack pine dominate the ridges, while a well defined boggy area supports black spruce and tamarack.

Harperville 649 ha
16km east of St. Laurent

The diversity of habitats in this WMA provides for a corresponding variety of wildlife species. The marsh vegetation is largely sedges, cattails, bulrushes and whitetop. On the ridges, the dominant trees are aspen and bur oak, with Saskatoon dominating the understorey. American elm are also scattered throughout the area. The marsh is used by nesting and staging waterfowl, shorebirds and other marsh birds. The uplands are inhabited by white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse.

Hilbre 1,041 ha
16km west of Hilbre

The common wildlife species in this area are white-tailed deer and grouse. It is also important for savannah sparrows, sedge wrens, and red-winged blackbirds. The topography is gently rolling with ridges dominated by bur oak and trembling aspen interspersed with native grasslands.

Inwood 2,320 ha
11km southwest of Inwood, off PR 415

The Inwood WMA is an important summer habitat for red-sided garter snakes and is essential habitat for white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse, along with numerous species of neo-tropical migrant birds. The topography is ridge-and-swale, with aspen woodland interspersed with grasslands and wetlands.

Lake Francis 6,782 ha
Southeast end of Lake Manitoba off PR 430 and PR 411

The WMA is a component of the world-famous Delta Heritage Marsh, a major breeding and staging area for waterbirds. It includes wetlands, beach ridge, and tall-grass prairie habitats. The wetlands are used by a great variety of water birds, including western grebes and pelicans, and amphibians, such as leopard frogs. The beach ridge is a breeding area and critical migration stop-over for a wide variety of warblers, which congregate in great numbers during spring and fall. The endangered piping plover occasionally nests on the sandy beach adjacent to the ridge. Hackberry, a rare species of the elm family, grows on the beach ridge, the only other known site in Manitoba being near the Lauder Sandhills. An interpretive facility has been developed along PR 41 1 featuring the tall-grass prairie found in the WMA. Sprague's pipits and other grassland birds can be observed in the area.

Lee Lake 7,127 ha
16km east of Hodgson off PR 325

The WMA was initially established to help restore Canada goose populations. Lee and Otter Lakes are the largest waterbodies, though there are numerous smaller wetlands. The surrounding aspen forest and grasslands provide excellent upland habitat as well. Trembling aspen is the most common tree species, but the occasional jack pine, white spruce and bur oak are also present. The WMA provides habitat for waterfowl, ruffed grouse, elk and deer.

Little Birch 22,339 ha
9.6km east of Ashern off PR 325

White-tailed deer, elk, and grouse are the prominent wildlife species in this WMA. Moose and bear are occasionally seen here as well. The ridges are dominated by aspen and grasslands, with some bur oak present. One large wetland and several smaller wetlands are found in the swales.

Lundar 1,110 ha
18km northeast of Lundar

The rich habitat of this WMA supports white-tailed deer, elk, black bear, ruffed and sharp-tailed grouse. Its ridges are dominated by aspen forest and grasslands, with the lower arm between the ridges containing marshes or sedge meadows. Marsh wrens, sandhill cranes, Sprague's pipits, and bobolinks are also found here.

Mantagao Lake 51,347 ha
16km west of Ashern, north of PR 325

This large WMA includes ridge-and-swale topography, eskers, beach ridges and end moraines. As a result, the vegetation is varied, from coniferous forest to lakeshore marsh. Much of the WMA burned over in the late 1980s and is regenerating. A young aspen forest dominates, but a vigorous growth of jack pine has established itself in many areas. Mantagao Lake and several smaller waterbodies are within the WMA. Several prairie and eastern forest plant species reach their northern limits in the area, including staghorn sumach. The northern red-bellied snake is abundant here. Moose, elk and white-tailed deer are found throughout the area. The WMA was the site of a successful elk transplant between 1969 and 1973.

Marshy Point 975 ha
West of Clarkleigh along Lake Manitoba

This lakeside marsh is an important staging area for waterfowl and played a major role in the reintroduction of giant Canada Geese in the 1960s. The WMA and surrounding area are now a goose refuge. Its wetlands also provide habitat for wrens, common yellow-throats, grebes, and other waterfowl.

Moose Creek 71,078 ha
30km north of Riverton off PR 234

Moose, white-tailed deer, black bear, timber wolf, sandhill cranes and Canada geese are found here. The WMA is along an important migration route for bald eagles and other raptors. Also designated as a Provincial Forest, the area is well covered by stands of trembling aspen, balsam poplar, white birch, balsam fir, white and black spruce, jack pine, and tamarack.

Moosehorn 198 ha
West of Ashern

The WMA includes a large segment of Moosehorn Lake, an important staging area for waterfowl. The topography is generally ridge-and-swale, typical of the Interlake, and there are several deep permanent wetlands in this area. Species found in the WMA include Canada geese, upland sandpipers, northern harriers, short-eared owls, and Wilson's phalaropes.

Narcisse 11,882 ha
Six kilometers north of Narcisse on PTH 17 (look for the Narcisse Snake Den sign on the east side of PTH 17)

The Narcisse Snake Dens, located within the WMA, are the winter home for tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes. Now an international attraction, some 35,000 people visit the WMA annually to view the spectacular snake activity that occurs here each spring and fall. An interpretive trail and associated facilities have been developed beyond the parking area off PTH 17.

The Narcisse WMA includes ridge-and-swale topography common to the Interlake. Portions of the area were formerly grazed, hayed and cultivated, but were proven to be unsuitable due to poor soils and drainage. The lands included in the WMA were acquired in the 1970s. The WMA's mixture of aspen forest and open meadows provides ideal habitat for significant numbers of ruffed grouse and sharp-tailed grouse, neo-tropical birds and raptors. It is also a critical wintering habitat for white-tailed deer.

Oak Hammock Marsh 3,581 ha
10 km north of Stony Mountain off PTH 67

The WMA is a premier wildlife viewing location and home to the Oak Hammock Marsh SD Centre. The marsh is a major staging area for Canada geese and other waterfowl. It also attracts numerous gull species and shorebirds, and has a large muskrat population. The Oak Hammock Marsh SD Centre offers interpretive programming for the general public and school groups year round. It has a theatre, meeting rooms and a great variety of innovative and informative displays, along with a cafeteria and gift shop.

The marsh is a remnant of the once vast St. Andrews Bog set between the Stonewall ridge to the west and the lower Selkirk ridge to the east. Early attempts at drainage all but eliminated the marsh, but it was restored through the construction of dykes and the creation of several impoundments. The marsh is surrounded by remnants of tall-grass prairie and formerly cultivated areas that have been seeded to nesting cover. There is also a small stand of bur oak.

Peonan Point 2,179 ha
South of Homebrook

This WMA provides habitat for white-tailed deer and sharp-tailed grouse. The vegetation consists mainly of aspen, willow and associated shrubs, along with meadow grasses and sedges. Nesting and migrating bald eagles use the area, as do some colonial waterbird species. It is also important for over-wintering elk.

Portage Sandhills 1,601 ha
11km south of Portage la Prairie on PR 240

This WMA provides habitat for white-tailed deer and grouse. It consists of sand dunes covered by aspen-oak forest and mixed-grass prairie. Vehicle use is restricted to protect this fragile ecosystem.

Proulx Lake 3,145 ha
23km east of Waterhen off PR 328

The WMA provides habitat for white-tailed deer and upland game birds. Its topography features ridges covered by grasses and stunted poplar interspersed by numerous willow and grassy runs.

Rembrandt 1,247 ha
20km northwest of Gimli

This WMA provides habitat for ruffed grouse and white-tailed deer. It includes a prominent ridge that is covered by aspen forest. A fairly light, even dispersion of balsam poplar and stands of white spruce are other notable features. More open areas contain grasses interspersed with willow and bog birch.

Sandridge 1,251 ha
8km north of Inwood on PTH 17

A prominent limestone ridge covered by shallow sand and gravel deposits result in the widespread distribution of stunted aspen in this WMA. Bur oak and balsam poplar are also scattered throughout the WMA, as are native grasslands. The WMA provides important habitat for white-tailed deer and upland game birds. Several large gravel pits have been rehabilitated and sown to grasses and forage.

Sharpewood 1,867 ha
16km west of Chatfield off PR 512

The WMA's ridge-and-swale topography has a mixture of aspen forest, open meadows, and wetlands. It provides ideal habitat for elk, ruffed grouse and sharp-tailed grouse. Sandhill cranes and numerous raptor species also use the area, and it is important as a breeding and stop-over location for neo-tropical birds.

Sleeve Lake 15,306 ha
Northwest of Poplarfield

The WMA, which is adjacent to, but does not include Sleeve Lake itself, was established to maintain habitat for white-tailed deer, elk and grouse. Its ridge-and-swale topography has uplands dominated by trembling aspen with a scattering of white spruce. Shrubs are found in abundance, including Saskatoon, red-osier dogwood and chokecherry. The WMA is also important as a breeding and stop-over location for neo-tropical migrant birds.

Washow Bay 1,426 ha
20km northwest of Riverton

Inland from Washow Bay itself, the WMA includes habitat for moose, staging waterfowl and bald eagles. Great blue herons also use it for roosting and feeding.