The Idaho Fish and Game recently finalized a land acquisition of 649 acres that will now be incorporated into the Market Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and accessible to the public. The new property is located approximately 20 miles north of Idaho Falls near the town of Roberts on the west side of I-15 and is part of the historic Market Lake lakebed, which once covered over 7,000 acres and supported large concentrations of waterfowl.
The newly obtained acreage expands upon a 342 acre parcel previously purchased by the department back in 2018. The two properties on the west side of I-15 have been combined into what will now be known as the Market Lake Basin Unit.
Several years ago, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. identified the Market Lake Basin as an important area for waterfowl conservation and purchased the property when it came up for sale. Fish and Game was then able to purchase the property from Ducks Unlimited, Inc. in 2021 with the help of grant monies provided by Pheasants Forever.
“This is an important acquisition that would not have been possible without the help of Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited,” says Market Lake Manager Brett Gullett. “Because of their efforts, we now have over 6,000 acres of public access at Market Lake and encompass 33 percent of the historic lakebed.”
The Market Lake Basin Unit is open to the public for hunting, fishing and trapping. Fish and Game will manage the property as a shallow wetland to provide valuable foraging habitat for the numerous waterfowl and other birds that utilize Market Lake WMA.