The first white travelers to visit what is now the C.J. Strike WMA were explorers, fur trappers, or pioneers on their way to Oregon to homestead. During the 1860s, they crossed through the southern part of the WMA on the south alternate of the Oregon Trail. This route left the main Oregon Trail near Glenns Ferry, followed the southern edge of the Snake River, and rejoined the main trail near Parma.
Since 1953, C.J. Strike WMA has been developed around the 7,500 acre C.J. Strike reservoir to protect public hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife-compatible recreation access associated with the reservoir. The land base was acquired over time through land purchase, easements, Public Land Withdrawals, and agreements to meet department goals for wildlife management and to meet FERC license requirements for IPC operation of C.J. Strike Dam.
The C.J. Strike WMA is managed from an office facility south of the Bruneau Arm of C.J. Strike at Jacks Creek with IPC managing their deeded property of approximately 3,000 acres under FERC license requirements, and the department managing 2,980 acres and cooperative management with BLM on another 1,884 acres within C.J. Strike WMA.