Before You Go
Fort Boise WMA’s unique location at the confluence of the Boise and Snake rivers provides ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Most people visit the WMA to hunt, fish, and bird watch.
Three main roads provide vehicle access to the WMA property, but all interior roads are designated as trails and are not open to motorized travel. Portions of Fort Boise WMA are closed to public entry February 1 to July 31 to protect nesting waterfowl, but other areas are open year-round.
Southwest Regional Office - Nampa
Primary Purpose: Waterfowl and upland bird nesting habitat; public recreation
Habitat: Mix of wetland, riparian, and upland habitats
- 1,548 acres
- Canyon County
- Established in 1959
things to know
Portions of Fort Boise WMA are closed to public entry February 1 to July 31 to protect nesting waterfowl. Please consult the WMA map for more details or contact the Southwest Regional Office.
Fireworks are prohibited on the WMA.
Fort Boise WMA has a headquarters office on site, located at:30845 Old Fort Boise Rd.
Parma, ID 83660
Spring skies above Fort Boise WMA are filled with thousands of snow geese as they descend on the ponds below. Shallow water and thick riparian vegetation make Fort Boise and the Roswell Marsh Habitat Area waterfowl havens.
During spring and fall migrations, white-fronted geese, snow geese, widgeon, and pintails visit the area to rest and replenish spent food reserves. Canada geese, mallards, gadwalls, cinnamon teal, and wood ducks commonly nest on WMA lands, while ring-necked pheasant and California quail inhabit the uplands. Other species present include mule and white-tailed deer, turkey, cottontail, mourning doves, and numerous songbirds.
Fort Boise WMA was first established in 1959 when Idaho Power deeded the 330-acre Gold Island to Fish and Game. Later purchases on the mainland allowed the department to create a complex habitat of open water and wetlands for thousands of migrating and nesting waterfowl. This includes the nearby Roswell Marsh Habitat Area with a 135-acre wetlands complex at its center.
Fort Boise WMA is a popular location for both waterfowl and upland hunters. For waterfowl hunters, Fort Boise WMA’s wetlands, drains, and sloughs provide a variety of hunting. For upland hunters, the WMA pheasant stocking program releases pheasants twice a week. There are special dates set aside for youth waterfowl and pheasant hunts.
Not far from Fort Boise WMA is the Roswell Marsh Wildlife Habitat Area. Purchased in the 1980s by the department and with the help of Ducks Unlimited, the marsh land was developed into waterfowl ponds and waterfowl nesting habitat. As the habitat matured, the area has become a popular spot for waterfowl hunting.
Be sure to check Idaho’s Seasons and Rules for up to date hunting information.
Fort Boise provides access to both the Snake and Boise rivers. Access to the Snake River is available through the Fort Boise WMA boat ramp. Fishing on the Boise River can be accessed through the Martin’s Landing portion of Fort Boise WMA, as well as at a variety of fishing and boating sites upstream from the mouth.
Trapping is allowed on the WMA. Interested trappers must register with Fort Boise WMA management personnel on site or at the Southwest Regional Office.
Fort Boise is a popular site for wildlife watchers. Waterfowl are abundant during spring migration, with the greatest number of bird species seen during March and April.
A new wildlife viewing platform was constructed in 2016 to give users a better view of Fort Boise’s wetlands. It was made possible by generous contributions from the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Golden Eagle Audubon Society, the Southwest Idaho Birders Association, and the Idaho Fish and Game Watchable Wildlife Program.
During spring and summer months, Fort Boise’s waterways and ponds brim with water birds. Great and snowy egrets, black-crowned night herons, and greater yellowlegs are but a few of the shorebirds seen in the wetlands, creeks, and smaller river channels. Larger water birds, including American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, and ring-billed gulls, patrol deeper waters in search of food.
Fort Boise WMA is a recognized spot on the Idaho Birding Trail.
Spring and early summer are good times to explore Fort Boise on foot. Most of the interior roads on the area are designated as trails and are not open to motorized travel. Portions of Fort Boise WMA are closed to public entry from February 1 to July 31. Please see the WMA map for additional details.
The main portion of the WMA is day use only. A managed campground is available at the Martin’s Landing segment of Fort Boise WMA on the south side of the Boise River.
- Camping is restricted to 3 days in any 30-day period.
- Campfires may be prohibited during periods of fire danger.
- There is no garbage service. If you pack it in, please pack it out.
- More Martin Landing camping information