Stump Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Stump Lake National Wildlife Refuge

North Dakota

(701) 662-8611

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By executive order in 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt established Stump Lake National Wildlife Refuge, the third national wildlife refuge in the nation and the first in North Dakota. Roosevelt established the refuge as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds; the refuge originally consisted of four small islands. Historically, Stump Lake was a nationally significant staging area for canvasbacks and tundra swans due to the uniquely large beds of sago pondweed. Found in eastern North Dakota, the 27-acre refuge is in Nelson County; its headquarters are in Devils Lake, North Dakota, from where it is administered as part of the Devils Lake Wetland Management District Complex. This refuge has fee-title lands.At the time of refuge establishment in 1905, the elevation of Stump Lake was 1,411.75 feet at mean sea level (msl). In 1990, the elevation of the lake was approximately 1,400 feet msl. In 1993, the levels of Stump Lake and adjacent Devils Lake began rising. By 2005, the original refuge islands were completely inundated. Stump and Devils lakes equalized at 1,447 feet msl in 2007, effectively placing the highest elevation of the original islands under 15 feet of water. The Service has closed this refuge to the public.


Latitude, Longitude: 47.906217, -98.451233



The Service has closed this refuge to the public.



Stump Lake NWR is located in the northwest corner of Nelson County approximately 30 miles from Devils Lake.

Phone Numbers


(701) 662-8611