Benton Lake Wetland Management District

Quick Facts

Benton Lake Wetland Management District

Montana

(406) 727-7400

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Benton Lake Wetland Management District (WMD) was established in 1975 in the heart of Montana's Big Sky country. The District covers 25,000 square miles, includes 10 counties, and is the largest WMD in the country. The mission of this WMD is to protect wetlands and surrounding grasslands for the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife. Since 1975, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has either purchased or received as donations 22 wetland areas within the Benton Lake WMD. These acquired lands, called Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA), total more than 16,000 acres. These Waterfowl Production Areas are important waterfowl nesting and feeding areas, varying in size from 80 to 3,700 acres. Waterfowl Production Areas are your public lands. You are invited to visit and learn what they have to offer for both your recreation and your spirit. All WPAs are open to wildlife observation and photography, and all but Sands and H2-0 WPAs are open to hunting, trapping, and fishing in accordance with Montana law. To protect these areas from damage, only foot travel is allowed, and no camping, overnight parking, or fires are permitted. Some Waterfowl Production Areas may be closed during spring and summer to protect nesting birds. Although the District's main mission is conservation of habitat for waterfowl, WPAs offer surprising wildlife diversity. On the Blackfoot WPA, sandhill cranes nest, bald eagles roost, beavers thrive, and elk winter. Mountain lions, grizzly bears, and perhaps gray wolves wander through Jarina WPA, and numerous raptors nest in the rock outcrops of Kingsbury Lake WPA.

Map of Benton Lake Wetland Management District

Latitude, Longitude: 47.665387, -111.283608

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Activities

  • Boating

    Non-motorized only are permitted in the WMD.

  • Fishing

    All WPAs but Sands and H2-0 WPAs are open to fishing in accordance with Montana law. To protect these areas from damage, only foot travel is allowed, and no camping, overnight parking, or fires are permitted. Some Waterfowl Production Areas may be closed during spring and summer to protect nesting birds.

  • Hiking

    Explore the areas by foot, but be sure to practice leave-no-trace wilderness ethics.

  • Hunting

    All WPAs but Sands and H2-0 WPAs are open to hunting in accordance with Montana law. To protect these areas from damage, only foot travel is allowed, and no camping, overnight parking, or fires are permitted. Some Waterfowl Production Areas may be closed during spring and summer to protect nesting birds.

  • Wildlife Watching

    All WPAs are open to wildlife observation and photography.

Directions

Driving

Since the WMD encompasses ten counties, driving directions to specific WPAs are available by contacting the Refuge staff (406-727-7400)

Phone Numbers

Primary

(406) 727-7400

Links