Located five kilometers southwest of the city of Moses Lake, the North Potholes Reserve is a rich mixture of seasonally fluctuating fresh water wetlands, riparian forests, and mature shrub-steppe uplands. The site has been designated a Watchable Wildlife Area by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages most of the land and water in the area. Water levels are regulated to maintain nesting and foraging areas for aquatic birds. Public access is restricted on part of the area in spring to prevent disturbance to nesting birds.

Ornithological Summary

The shallow water ponds and wetlands of the North Potholes Reserve support a rich fishery that provides an important feeding area for pelicans, cormorants, herons, and egrets. The mature willows surrounding the wetlands support large nesting colonies of herons, and the high quality uplands habitat supports a diverse assemblage of species associated with shrub-steppe communities, including Long-billed Curlew, Loggerhead Shrike, Sage Thrasher, and Vesper, Lark, Sage, and Grasshopper Sparrows.


2013 Assessment based on BLM Oregon/Washington Surface Management Ownership dataset (http://www.blm.gov/or/gis/data-details.php?data=ds000011).

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