Coeur d’Alene River WMA

Before You Go

The Coeur d’Alene River WMA is a collection of land parcels along the river between Harrison and Cataldo. The WMA is open to the public and can be accessed by vehicle, boat, and bike. Hunting, fishing, and bird watching are all popular activities. 

Visiting Hours:

Open year-round, seven days a week.


Panhandle Regional Office

2885 W. Kathleen Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
United States
(208) 769-1414

WMA facts

Primary Purpose: Waterfowl production and habitat, hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing

Habitat: Wetlands, lakes, riparian areas, conifer forest.

  • 8,638 acres
  • Kootenai and Benewah counties
  • Established in 1964

things to know

The WMA can be accessed in a variety of ways.

  • County roads border the WMA and provide access to different parcels. 
  • Several public boat launches are located along the Coeur d’Alene River at Anderson Lake, Thompson Lake, Rose Lake, and the Coeur d’Alene River boat launch.
  • The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes weaves in and out of the WMA.



Largely a mix of wetland habitats and small lakes, this WMA is for the birds. It was developed to protect and enhance waterfowl habitat and increase waterfowl production.

The Coeur d’Alene River WMA parcels lay along the river between Harrison and Cataldo. Additional parcels are scattered around the lake and along the St. Joe and St. Maries rivers.

The WMA provides high quality habitat for upland birds and wildlife. The largest upland parcel, on the Thompson Lake segment, consists of forested and pasture habitat, and includes food plots.

Thousands of birds, including tundra swans, descend on its waters to rest and feed during their seasonal migrations. A host of other birds – ospreys, mourning doves, great blue herons, kingfishers, hawks and harriers - can also be seen here.




Waterfowl, upland bird, and big game hunters will find good hunting opportunities for each season within and adjacent to the WMA.

Attention:  Thompson Lake and Thompson Slough are closed to waterfowl hunting.

The Chain Lakes offer fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, crappie, yellow perch, and bullhead. These small lakes are connected by channels to the Coeur d’Alene River.

Several public boat launches are located along the Coeur d’Alene River on the WMA at Anderson Lake, Thompson Lake, Rose Lake, and the Coeur d’Alene River boat launch.

Trapping is allowed on the WMA. Trappers must register with the Panhandle Office or WMA staff before setting traps on the WMA.

The WMA has several locations that are excellent locations to view birds. A bird viewing blind located off Thompson Lake Road and several parking areas along East Blue Lake Road are ideal for viewing waterfowl. Other locations include, Robinson Creek, Lane Marsh, Strobel Marsh, and Oehrling Slough.

Moose can frequently be seen during the summer in various wetlands throughout the WMA. Turkey, elk, deer, black bear, bobcat, beaver, and river otters have also been observed.

Camping is limited to 10 days on the WMA, except at Bull Run, which has a 3-day camping limit.