PINEDALE — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited, has recently begun a wetland restoration project at the Soda Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) north of Pinedale.
The once vibrant man-made wetlands have basically lived out their lifespan, silted in and held very little water for the past several years.
This 3,750-acre WHMA near Pinedale was established in 1948. It lies in a region of rolling sagebrush uplands bordered by the foothills of the Wind River Range. Soda Lake and the adjoining wetlands total approximately 370 acres, attracting many species of waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and terrestrial wildlife.
The wetlands restoration project will improve the functionality of the wetlands and allow seasonal management of water within the system. Drawing down water levels during the growing season will promote the growth of wetland plants that will then be flooded again in late summer, benefiting migratory waterbirds and ungulates, such as moose.
The completed project will also provide wildlife enthusiasts with excellent waterfowl hunting, bird watching and photography.
The wetlands work will be suspended on October 1, 2020, to accommodate the annual mule deer migration through this area. Work will resume July 15, 2021, following sage grouse and waterfowl nesting season. The project is planned to be completed by October of 2021.