Market Lake consists of 1,700 acres of bulrush/cattail marshes and wetland meadows, surrounded by sagebrush/grassland desert. There are approximately 200 acres of agricultural fields and 0.75 miles of Snake River riparian area. All the water to the wetlands comes from springs, seeps, and artesian wells.

Ornithological Summary

This WMA is a spring staging area for 50,000-150,000 ducks (particularly Northern Pintails), 400 Canada Geese, 40,000 Snow Geese, 1,000 Tundra Swans, and 150 shorebirds (Red-necked Phalarope, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden-plover; Intermountain West Regional Shorebird Plan lists Market Lake WMA as a shorebird site). There is a Peregrine Falcon hack/nesting tower on the WMA. Fall staging area for 50 American White Pelicans. 100 birds species can be seen in one day on the WMA. Has nesting Northern Harriers, Greater Sage Grouse, Long-billed Curlew, Black Terns, Sage Sparrows and Yellow-headed Blackbirds (but not in high numbers for any of these species). During summer, other waterbirds (American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, Caspian Tern, American Coot, Western Grebe, Clark?s Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, California Gull) and shorebirds (Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Willet) are also present.

Colonies: Eared Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron (25 birds), Snowy Egret (30 birds), Great Egret, Cattle Egret, White-faced Ibis (500-1000 birds), Ring-billed Gull, Franklin?s Gull (800-1200 birds), Forster?s Tern

Conservation Issues

Noxious weed species are present on the WMA, including Canada thistle, Musk thistle, Russian knapweed, field bindweed, and whitetop. Biological, mechanical, and chemical methods are used to control and eliminate these noxious weeds. A significant threat on the WMA is lack of water. The water output of springs is only 25% that of the output in the 1970?s. Idaho Department of Fish and Game is investigating the potential to purchase water in the reservoir system for use in the marshes.


Marsh/ Wetland meadow-typha-scripus/carex-juncus; fluvauqent soils. Sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass; basalt plains, sandy loam, and igneous rock. The annual precipitation averages 11 inches. Temperature ranges from -30?a F to 100?a F.

Land Use

This is primarily a wildlife refuge, that is frequently used for recreation by the public. Has approximately 15,000 user days per year, with 11,000 of those days being used for wildlife viewing.

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