DU, Coeur Rochester to improve more than 2,300 acres in Nevada’s Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge

This summer Ducks Unlimited (DU) will begin conservation work at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Fallon, Nevada. This $350,000 project will improve the refuge’s water delivery and drainage capabilities and benefit 2,325 acres of habitat. More than 250,000 waterfowl that use the refuge each year.

The project will re-establish the Navy Cabin Drain, a historical water conveyance ditch that moved water between Stillwater Farms (Canvasback Club) and the South Nutgrass unit on Stillwater NWR and install a propane powered pump station.

Over the past 10 years, refuge staff plugged and filled portions of the canal when they thought the canal was no longer needed. However, they soon discovered when the Canvasback Club drains its wetlands as part of its annual management, the water now must flow into the refuge’s South Lead Lake, limiting water management capability and causing lots of cattail growth. Re-establishing the drain allows for better water delivery and habitat management. 

Ducks Unlimited, in partnership with Coeur Rochester, will install a new propane powered pump station on the west end of the drain, allowing water to be diverted from the Navy Cabin Drain to the Tule Lake Unit.

When complete, the project will significantly improve habitat and water management in the refuge’s Tule Lake, Lead Lake and South Nutgrass units.