Johnson Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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Johnson Lake National Wildlife Refuge

North Dakota

(701) 285-3341

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Johnson Lake National Wildlife Refuge is 2,002 acre easement refuge located in Eddy and Nelson Counties just 29 miles east of the town of New Rockford. The Refuge was established by Executive Order 8122, signed on May 10, 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to be set aside as "a refuge and breeding grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife."

The Refuge boundaries encompass 2,002 acres of private land. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service owns in fee title only 4.5 acres which have perpetual flowage and refuge rights. The easement that is on the remainder of the property gives the Service the right to restrict "hunting, trapping and willful disturbance of any bird or wild animal of any kind whatsoever within the limits of the refuge or to enter thereon..." Johnson Lake itself is an 800 acre Type 5 wetland. Snow geese, Canada geese, and tundra swans use the refuge during migration. Large numbers of white-tailed deer also use the refuge during the winter months. Johnson Lake NWR is closed to all public use. Very limited opportunities for wildlife observation and photography are available from public roads around the refuge.


Latitude, Longitude: 47.674866, -98.524361




Established in 1939 as an easement refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Located in Northeast Eddy County and Southwest Nelson County this easement refuge is comprised of one large 746 acre wetland surrounded by 1126 acres of grassland and 56 acres of cropland. Only 4.49 acres is owned by the Service. 1126 acres are owned by the State of North Dakota while the remaining 797.51 acres are in private ownership.

Phone Numbers


(701) 285-3341