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Idaho Fish and Game

Waterlife Discovery Center open

Panhandle Waterlife Discovery Center now open for the summer


Stop by the center when a naturalist on duty is there to show you around and answer your questions

The WaterLife Discovery Center is now open for the summer! The center is a habitat education and interpretive area on the shores of the Pend Oreille River near Sandpoint, Idaho.

Naturalists on Duty, or NODS are available during certain days and hours, to show you around this beautiful Fish and Game property and answer questions. NODS are members of the Pend Oreille Chapter of Idaho Master Naturalists. The Pend Oreille Master Naturalist chapter is an energetic core of members from across the Idaho Panhandle who enjoy volunteering at and developing Fish and Game’s Waterlife Discovery Center.

Naturalists on Duty hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. through August

WaterLife Discovery Center address: 1591 Lakeshore Dr. Sagle, ID


Folks are welcome to stop by at anytime to tour the property, but the building is open to the public only when a naturalist is on duty. The property consists of 3.5 acres of developed interpretive exhibits and a 6.5-acre forested wetland with trails and interpretive signs. This area is home to white-tailed deer, moose, muskrat, mink, and river otters. Birds are found in abundance. Bald eagles, osprey and waterfowl grace the river while woodpeckers and songbirds prefer the wetland forest.

The former hatchery manager’s home is now a small science center with short movies, many displays, and a replica of the very first manager’s home in the early 1900’s.  This hatchery isn’t used to raise fish at this time, but the outside runs are used to hold rainbow trout in the spring, coming from southern Idaho, before being distributed to area lakes.  


Today, a partnership between Fish and Game, Pend Oreille Master Naturalist Chapter, the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the local community has created the WaterLife Discovery Center. Stop by for a visit this summer!