Waterfowl hunters will struggle to launch boats at Market Lake due to low water levels

For the past several years, drought conditions have persisted in the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and this year was no different. So far this water year, Market Lake has received half as much precipitation as 2021, which was also significantly drier than usual. Just three inches of precipitation has been measured at Market Lake since October. This lack of precipitation has resulted in extremely low water levels in the marshes and will make it difficult to launch a boat. Waterfowl hunters will find similar conditions in the 2020 and 2021 seasons with limited boat access.

Lake Waterfowl Market

The good news is that the shallow water levels in the marshes are attractive to migrating waterfowl and other species that now have access to the food resources made available by the receding waters. “Where there is food, there will be ducks for hunters to enjoy,” says habitat biologist Brett Gullett. “Hunters can still find good walk-in access to places that have birds, but pre-season scouting will go a long way to improving opening-day success.”

Market Lake Prescribed Burn

The Market Lake WMZ is actively managed for quality waterfowl habitat. Multiple controlled burns have been carried out in the marshes in recent years, creating a healthy mosaic of vegetation and open water that has proven beneficial to waterfowl. Birds now have more space to land and feed on aquatic vegetation and insects. The open spaces created by these burns have also improved access for hunters, creating pathways to areas that may have previously been inaccessible.

american duck

To find out more about the hunting possibilities on Market Lake Wildlife Management Area or other properties operated by Idaho Fish and Game Click here.

Earnest A. Martinez