Important Bird Areas

Alkali and Beck Lakes

Wyoming

Alkali and Beck Lakes are located just southeast of Cody, Wyoming. The lakes and surrounding area support wetland and open water habitats that are heavily used by many species of waterfowl, shorebirds, waders, and landbirds. The area features a network of (both natural and manmade) shallow ponds. Alkali Lake is made up of alkali waters while Beck Lake and the upper reservoir are non-alkaline and therefore support various species of fish. The area serves as a staging area for spring and fall migration; provides nesting habitat for ruddy ducks, coots, grebes, blackbirds, and loons; and supports landbirds through all seasons. The lakes? ownership includes: municipal, federal, state, and private owners.

Ornithological Summary

The site is a major staging area for fall and spring migration. It also is a year round food source for landbirds. It is a nesting area for Ruddy Ducks, coots, grebes, blackbirds, and loons.

Conservation Issues

Serious threat of invasive and non-native plants and non-native predators. Minor threats of introduced animals, development, and hydrologic changes.

Ownership

The lakes? ownership includes: the City of Cody (75%), Lewis Trust (15%), Marathon Oil Company (2%), and Daphne Grimes (8%). The City of Cody owns significant property and water rights for the area, and the site is primarily used as a water supply source.

Habitat

The lakes and surrounding area support wetland and open water habitats that are heavily used by many species of waterfowl, shorebirds, waders, and landbirds. The area features a network of (both natural and manmade) shallow ponds. Alkali Lake is made up of alkali waters while Beck Lake and the upper reservoir are non-alkaline and therefore support various species of fish. Both Alkali and Beck Lakes are primarily comprised of open water habitat with associated wetland communities along the shoreline. Cattails (typha) and reeds/rushes (tule) vegetation can be found on the southwest perimeters of the lakes, while cottonwood, willow and Russian Olive trees also inhabit the shoreline. Sagebrush/grassland habitat surrounds the wetland areas.

Land Use

The City of Cody owns significant property and water rights for the area, and the site is primarily used as a water supply source. Other land uses include nature and wildlife conservation, hunting, fishing, recreation and tourism activities (although no motorized boats are permitted), and some limited livestock use.