A former impounded "rice reserve" constructed by slave labor in the 1700s, the Washo, or Blake's Reserve, is probably the oldest known continuously used wading birds rookery in North America. It is the site of the first documented nesting Glossy Ibis in SC in l947. The backwater, featuring black water, stained by tannic acid, is a narrow lagoon approximately 2-3 miles long with standing bald cypress and water tupelo trees with some standing dead snags.
The Washo Reserve is an important example of the reserve method of growing inland rice, later abandoned for tidewater culture.
There is a significant population of American alligaors.
The website is http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/southcarolina/pres....
The Washo Reserve is one of the few rookery sites for endnagered Wood Storks in SC, featuring about 25% of the state's breeding population.
15-10 Oprey nests are found here. Nesting Wood Ducks, Prothonotary Warblers (WatchListed), Barred Owls and other cavity nesters find suitable habitat here. Three groups of the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers are found here. Nesting colonial waterbirds include: Wood Stork, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret. Wintering waterfowl include: Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, American Widgeon, Gadwall and Mallard.
There are no current conservation problems. Hurricanes are always a potential threat.
The Washo Reserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy.
The Washo Reserve features a deep-water swamp with standing open water with a bald cypress/tupelo gum forest with a fairly young (C. 50 yrs.) longleaf pine buffer.
The Washo Reserve is primarily a wildlife conservation area and is secondarily used for forestry.