Gridley Lake is a combination of alkali playa and shallow, ephemeral lake, the ratio of each varying according to annual precipitation. Along the eastern edge, several springs feed into the playa and assure some permanent standing water. This body of water, in turn, offers an abundance of brine flies and brine shrimp to birds that can tolerate the harsh environment. The lake is bordered on its east and west sides by gravel roads.
Remote and little visited alkali playa offering permanent water and food to bird species tolerant of these extreme conditions. Breeding of Am. Avocet, Snowy Plover, Killdeer documented, other species possible. Additional species and numbers are likely in migration (Criteria 3(c) and 3(e)), though documentation is needed. Herman et al. (1988) surveyed 11 sites in NV (in 1980) for Snowy Plover (Gridley Lake not among them). Gridley Lake (in 2002) would have ranked 4th in Snowy Plover population size among the areas they surveyed, comparable to Fernley Sink and Artesia Lake.
Water rights to only source of water to the lake are privately held, but probably inactive. Water is of very low quality. wild burros and horses are fenced out of primary breeding/foraging area for birds. As long as fences are maintained this arrangement is satisfactory.