The gates at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge will swing open for the public, this Saturday, March 5th. Refuge Manager Steve Whitson says the Refuge is closed annually from late October to the first Saturday of March to allow for undisturbed habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Whitson says once spring arrives the place becomes a Refuge for people as well as wildlife. He says there are an abundance of outdoor public use opportunities at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, including Silver Lake available for fishing and the Auto Tour Route provides for a relaxing drive. There are also hiking opportunities available, as the entire refuge is open to foot traffic during this time. They also offer a nature trail by the old Visitor Center with a nice overlook and scopes near the Swan Lake marsh. The refuge is open to antler shed hunting, mushroom, and berry picking for personal use.
Whitson says at this time there are great wildlife viewing opportunities as there are hundreds up to sometimes a few thousand Trumpeter Swans on the refuge and snow goose numbers can reach in the hundreds of thousands this time of year. March and early April are good times to view numerous species of waterfowl that are migrating back north for the summer.
Due to Covid restrictions, the Visitor Center is closed with only the main office open and limited capacity.