Ocean Lake is the largest lake in the center of Wyoming and is a significant migratory stopover for birds in the central flyway. In the past, waterfowl habitat was developed with levees but water delivery was a challenge. Ducks Unlimited has partnered with Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Lower Wind River Conservation District, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Water for Wildlife and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build more wetland units and improve water delivery.
The Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) has plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities including waterfowl, pheasant and dove hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, camping, and hiking. The lake was created by the Riverton Reclamation Project in the early 1920's. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department then stepped in to partner with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and manage the area for waterfowl habitat.
The significance to this WHMA to waterfowl in Wyoming is why DU has chosen it as the signature project for the Rescue Our Wetlands campaign. As part of the campaign DU is choosing a significant project site in each state that represents DU’s work and the habitats that support North American waterfowl.
DU is delivering the project and conducting the survey, design and oversight. Construction to restore 60 acres of shallow water wetlands will begin Fall 2016. A small North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant was awarded to help fund this project along with federal, state, private and DU donor contributions.