PROJECT UPDATE: Modoc National Wildlife Refuge

photo by Jessie Ross


Ducks Unlimited recently partnered with Modoc National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), with the support of California State Duck Stamp funds, to construct a low-lift pump station to provide water to the Matney Fields. Modoc NWR is located in far northeastern California in Modoc County. The 7,021-acre refuge consists of wetland and wet meadow habitats interspersed among Great Basin upland habitat types. The refuge is an important migratory stopover and breeding area for various ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes in the Pacific Flyway.

Duck Stamp-funded activities included engineering a design and managing construction activities to construct the low-lift pump station which provides a more efficient way to supply riparian water to several units on the refuge, ultimately enhancing 243 acres of wetland habitat.

The refuge is an important waterfowl production area in Northern California with an average of about 3,600 birds produced per year and is dominated by mallard, gadwall, cinnamon teal, redhead, northern shoveler, northern pintail and ruddy ducks.  In addition, about 2,000 Canada geese are produced on the Refuge each year. The enhanced irrigation capabilities provided by this pump will ensure proper and timely management of the Matney Fields and associated units for nesting habitat and brood production. In addition to nesting habitat, the Matney Fields, also provide vital fall and spring staging areas for migrating waterfowl and are highly utilized by waterfowl hunters.