Lamesteer National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Lamesteer National Wildlife Refuge


(406) 789-2305


Things To Do


Lamesteer NWR is situated on the prairie in the east central portion of Montana, 20 miles southeast of Wibaux. It is part of Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The 800-acre easement refuge was established by Executive Order in 1942. The topography is gently rolling hills with very few lakes or wetlands. The soils are generally poor and the shortgrass prairie vegetation consists of native grasses, forbs and cactus. The semi-arid climate is typical of the western Great Plains with warm summers, cold winters, and marked variations in seasonal precipitation. As an easement refuge the Service has no control of the upland. Only water rights, water management and facilities maintenance rights are covered by the easement on the 110-acre wetland. The impoundment is the only permanent water for many miles and provides nesting habitat for waterfowl, and a water source for migrating birds and resident wildlife. Pumping for irrigation from the impoundment is allowed when surplus water is available.


Latitude, Longitude: 46.737743, -109.151573



  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The wildlife drive begins on the entrance road to the refuge headquarters which follows the north shore of Medicine Lake heading east from Highway 16. The drive traverses 14 miles of wetland and grassland habitat. As you travel east, you will pass by lakes and ponds that support many different species. Placards are positioned along the drive to give visitors more information on natural and cultural resources as well as management practices.

  • Fishing

    Northern pike inhabit Medicine Lake and some of the surrounding lakes and ponds. Fishing for these predatory fish is best from late fall through the early spring. Fishing or spearing from inside an icehouse is preferred during winter, but fishing from shore or non-motorized boat is a good option in other seasons.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is allowed on designated areas of Medicine Lake NWR and on all Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). The most common game species hunted are ducks, geese, ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, and white-tailed deer. The hunting of swans and sandhill cranes is prohibited on Medicine Lake NWR. Hunting is permitted in accordance with State seasons and bag limits.

  • Wildlife Watching

    The Refuge wildlife is a rich fauna of native prairie and wetland species. The abundant birdlife is impressive by any standards, and was the reason the Refuge was established in 1935.

Phone Numbers


(406) 789-2305