Cartier Slough WMA

Before You Go

Cartier Slough WMA is an important stopover for migrating waterfowl, shorebirds and waterbirds. It often floods during the spring runoff for weeks at a time.

Most people who visit the 1,026-acre expanse of wetlands, sagebrush and sloughs, walk in from a trail that starts at Madison County's Beaver Dick Park. Visitors will find a boat launch, picnic tables, toilets and trailhead at the park.

Parking spots can also be found along the road around the perimeter of the WMA and fence crossing stiles to access the WMA. The WMA’s interior trails and service roads are only open to foot traffic.

Visiting Hours:

Open year-round, 7 days a week.

Contact:

Upper Snake Regional Office

4279 Commerce Circle
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
United States

WMA facts

Primary Purpose: Provide habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and waterbirds.

Habitat: Wetland, riparian, sloughs, sagebrush, grassland

  • 1,028 acres
  • Madison County
  • Established in 1976

things to know

Approximately 90% of the WMA floods in the spring during high water years.

An unimproved road runs along the northern edge of the WMA. 

Three parking areas can be found along the perimeter road, one of which has a boat launch.

Fence stiles are positioned in various locations along the boundary fences for access to the WMA.

Trails and service roads are only open to foot traffic.

Overview

Cartier Slough WMA was Idaho’s first waterfowl mitigation project. It was established as mitigation for wetland and waterfowl losses from the construction of Ririe and Teton dams. It is located on the west side of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River five miles west of Rexburg, Idaho.

The area is a large wetland complex with very little water control. Water levels depend on the level of the Henrys Fork. Historically the Cartier Slough floods an average of once every three years, inundating most of the area for weeks at a time.

Cartier Slough is an important component to the larger Mud Lake and Market Lake WMA waterbird breeding complex. Its primary role in the larger landscape may be as foraging and transitional habitat.

Most people who visit the 1,026-acre expanse of wetlands, sagebrush and sloughs, walk in from a trail that starts at Madison County's Beaver Dick Park. Visitors will find a boat launch, picnic tables, toilets and trailhead at the park.

 

News

Activities

In the fall, hunters frequent the area in search of moose, white-tailed deer, waterfowl and pheasants, which Fish and Game stocks from game farms. The entire WMA lies within the big game unit 63A.

Organized hunting related events include:

  • Annual youth skills clinics at Beaver Dick Park, which uses parts of the WMA.
  • Annual three-day archery shoot organized by a local archery club.

Note on blinds: Anyone can construct or erect a blind on the WMA. Blinds must be constructed of natural materials. No artificial fasteners, such as nails, wires or rope are allowed. Soils cannot be disturbed and trees cannot be cut or altered. These blinds shall be available to the public on the ‘first come, first served’ basis. Portable blinds are welcome, but must be removed each day.

Trout fishing primarily takes place along the banks of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River.

Trapping is allowed on the WMA.

An estimated 200 wildlife species use the WMA. Most visitors to the WMA walk the wetlands, sagebrush and sloughs to watch wildlife, especially birds. In addition to a variety of ducks, geese, shorebirds, visitors may see trumpter swans and tundra swans that migrate through the region. The WMA is also a stopover habitat for many migrating songbirds.

Note on blinds: Anyone can construct or erect a blind on the WMA. Blinds must be constructed of natural materials. No artificial fasteners, such as nails, wires or rope are allowed. Soils cannot be disturbed and trees cannot be cut or altered. These blinds shall be available to the public on the ‘first come, first served basis. Portable blinds are welcome, but must be removed each day.

A boat launch for canoes and other non-motorized boats is located at Beaver Dick Park and one parking area on the perimeter road. A person could paddle for hours in the maze of sloughs on the WMA.

Camping is not allowed on Cartier WMA. Camping is allowed at Beaver Dick Park, which is managed by Madison County.

Most visitors access a 1.5 mile hiking trail from Beaver Dick Park. Service roads on the WMA are mowed after July 15 to improve access for foot traffic.

Horseback riding is allowed. No special facilities are provided for horses, other than parking.