A series of prescribed burns are planned to occur on Market Lake Wildlife Management Area between March 18 and April 15. The Idaho Fish and Game has contracted the Bureau of Land Management to conduct a series of controlled burns designed to remove dead vegetation and improve wetland productivity. Large portions of the WMA will be closed to human entry during these intermittent burns and the public is asked to please respect all road and area closures for their own safety and the safety of the burn crews.
Many of the marshes on Market Lake WMA contain an excess of tall emergent vegetation. To combat this old and decadent vegetation, nearly 160 acres of random strips have been aerially sprayed over the past three years to kill cattails across the Main, Triangle, and East Springs Marshes. Burning off the remaining dead material will reveal a younger age class of vegetation and provide an abundance of quality foraging resources for waterfowl.
Without disturbance wetlands will continue to close in with cattails and other dominant vegetation, which limits their productivity and accessibility to waterfowl. Burning of the marshes will help to maintain the preferred 50:50 split of cattail/bulrush to open water and set the marshes back to early successional stages that are more productive.
These early stages of marsh development create more openings for waterfowl to land and provide access to wetland plants, submerged aquatic vegetation and aquatic insects important to developing ducklings. Waterfowl hunters will also benefit from improved access into areas that were previously inaccessible prior to the burn.
For more information about the prescribed burns at Market Lake WMA, please contact Habitat Biologist Brett Gullett 208-525-7290.