Oakwood Lakes public lands, located in Brookings County, South Dakota, consists of a land mass circumscribed
by a series of glacial lakes.  The principal terrestrial habitats are patches of forest (Bur Oak, Cottonwood, and planted pines) and grassland. The high diversity of habitats attracts a large number of migrant landbird and waterbird species. The area is a popular recreation area, with camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting being the primary activities.

Ornithological Summary

This site has a variety of habitats, both aquatic and terrestrial.  It supports a number of species of conservation concern and is an important stopover site for land birds. Islands in the northeast part of Oakwood Lake host a large wader/waterbird breeding colony.

Conservation Issues

Because this site is already public protected land, the threats are minimal.


Mostly state-owned Public lands, with small parcels of federal Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) and 1/2 section of private land.



Lakes State Park consists of a land mass circumscribed by a series of connected
glacial lakes. Area north of the lakes have shallow sloughs.  The principal terrestrial habitats are
patches of forest and grassland.  Emergent
vegetation, mostly cattails (Typha sp.), occurs along many of the lakes’
margins.  Along the shore at many
locations are strips of woodland. 
Principal tree species in  these
strips are cottonwood, (Populus deltoides), bur oak (Quercus
macrocarpa), and box elder (Acer negundo). Some of the lake margins
are bordered by open grassland.  The land
mass of the public lands support patches of woodland and grasses.  The forest patches are dominated by
cottonwood, bur oak , and hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), and have
understories dominated by buckthorn (Rhamus cathartica) and gooseberry (Ribesmissouriense).  The Game Production Areas have extensive pine
plantings, primarily pondorosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).There are two
types of grasslands in the area.  One
consists mostly of the invasives smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and reed
canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) while the other is mostly a forb-less
prairie restoration in which big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi),
Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)
are dominant.




Land Use

This site is mostly public land for recreation and wildlife management. The small areas of private land are pasture.

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