Press Release

Conditions report for waterfowl hunting on Market Lake WMA during the 2021 season

Lower water levels at Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will attract foraging ducks this hunting season but launching a motorized boat will be difficult.

Market Lake WMA
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Don Maiers/Idaho Fish and Game

Drought conditions have resulted in lower than expected water levels in the marshes at Market Lake. Waterfowl hunters will find conditions to be similar to the 2020 season with limited boat access but an abundance of ducks and geese.

Ducks
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James Brower Idaho Fish and Game

While not great news for boaters, shallow water levels will make the marshes at Market Lake extremely attractive to migrating waterfowl and other species that now have access to an abundance of food resources made available by the receding water. Greater food availability means more ducks for hunters to enjoy, but they may have to wade or walk-in to reach them. “A little pre-season scouting will go a long way towards improving your success," explains habitat biologist Brett Gullett. "The birds will be there but a little leg work will be the best way to reach them." 

waterfowl_on_one_of_the_hagerman_wma_ponds_nov_2019
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IDFG

A controlled burn was also conducted in the marshes early last spring that has created a better ratio of vegetation to open water and has proven to be beneficial to waterfowl. Birds now have more areas to land and forage on aquatic vegetation and insects. The burn has improved access for hunters as well, creating pathways into areas that may have been previously inaccessible.  

Market Lake Controlled Burn
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James Brower Idaho Fish and Game

Waterfowl hunters should also not forget about utilizing the flooded agricultural fields on the north end of Market Lake. Many of those field are flooded regularly leading up to and during the first few weeks of waterfowl season to attract ducks and provide additional hunting opportunity on the WMA. 

ducks_off_the_pond_hagerman_wma_nov_2019
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IDFG

To learn more about hunting opportunities on Market Lake Wildlife Management Area or other properties managed by the Idaho Fish and Game click here.