Sterling WMA

Before You Go

Sterling is the most intensely used WMA in the Southeast Region. The public largely uses the WMA for ring-necked pheasant and waterfowl hunting, as well as some trapping. The WMA provides quality opportunities for wildlife viewing, particular birding, year-round.

The Sterling WMA is open to public travel. Fifteen parking areas are provided throughout the WMA for visitor convenience. Vehicles must remain on established, open roads. There are no permanent restrooms or facilities on the WMA, however portable toilets are set up during the pheasant season.

Visiting Hours:

Open year-round, 7 days a week.

Contact:

Southeast Regional Office

1345 Barton Road
Pocatello, ID 83204
United States
Phone: 
(208) 232-4703

WMA facts

Primary Purpose: Waterfowl and ring-necked pheasant production

Habitat: Open water, wetlands, wet meadows, Russian olive woodlands, agriculture

  • 4,106 acres
  • Bingham County
  • Established in 1968

things to know

A wildlife blind for youth and ADA hunters is available on a first come, first serve basis.

The blind is also available for wildlife viewing. 

Motorized vehicles must remain on established, open roads.

The WMA surrounds two parcels of private of land. Landowners permit public access and hunting; WMA rules apply to these two properties.

Overview

The Sterling WMA rests in the middle of farm country. Its wetlands support breeding and migrating waterfowl; the uplands furnish habitat for pheasants and other wildlife. The habitat is also a draw for local hunters and outdoors enthusiasts.

Goals for the Sterling WMA property are to provide for waterfowl, ring-necked pheasant and other wildlife production, public hunting, and general wildlife appreciation. With American Falls Reservoir as the eastern border, the WMA provides access to the greatest variety of shorebirds in Idaho. American avocet, black-necked stilt, sandhill crane and sandpipers, are just a few. Other wildlife - mule deer, white-tailed deer, beaver, muskrat, amphibians, reptiles, owls, and hawks - use the WMA throughout the year.

Sterling WMA was started with a gift of 121 acres from the American Game Association. It has grown over the years using sportsman dollars to purchase adjacent property and land lease agreements with the Bureau of Reclamation.

Cooperative farming on the WMA is being used as a tool to provide habitat benefits. Farming agreements are written to provide food plots, dense nesting cover plantings and tree plantings in areas where Fish and Game does not have the ability or means to develop irrigation or plant and raise crops. Specific guidelines are incorporated into the agreements so that any practices used on the WMA are in the best interest of wildlife and habitat.

News

Activities

Upland game and waterfowl hunting are the primary recreational uses on the WMA.

Ring-necked pheasants are stocked weekly throughout the hunting season. Pheasant hunters must purchase a WMA Upland Game Bird Permit to hunt pheasants on the WMA. 

The WMA is located in unit 68A. There is a archery-only either sex season for mule deer and white-tailed deer.

A hunting blind only for youth and ADA hunters is located at Johnson Pond. The blind is available on first come, first serve basis. It is ADA accessible and has a dog ramp and an adjustable gun rest.

Hunters should be aware of two private land in-holdings on the WMA,. They are managed by the private landowners, who allow public access and hunting on their property. WMA rules apply to these private parcels.

Please make sure to check Idaho’s Seasons and Rules for up to date hunting information.

 

American Falls Reservoir, which borders the WMA, provides year-round fishing. It is well known among anglers for trout (rainbow, brown and cutthroat,) catfish, white fish, yellow perch and crappie fishing. Idaho Fish and Game plants upwards of 8,000 pounds of rainbow trout every year. Ice-fishing is a popular winter activity in the area.

There is some access to the shoreline of American Falls Reservoir through the Fingal, Funk, and Horsch Segments on the Sterling WMA. Adjacent to the WMA land is Sportsman's Park, just east of Aberdeen, ID. Sportsman's Park is a 30-acre access site managed by Bingham County Parks and Recreation.  It provides campground facilities and a boat launch.

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

Bring your binoculars! Sterling WMA provides extensive opportunity for wildlife viewing, particularly birding. Easy access and parking lots for every WMA segment provides multiple areas to hike and walk, as well as an ADA accessible pathway to a permanent, sheltered blind, with a bench overlooking the Johnson Pond. The blind is available on a first come, first serve basis for wildlife viewing.

Easy access and parking lots for every segment of the Sterling WMA provides multiple areas to hike and walk.

No overnight camping is allowed on the WMA. Adjacent to WMA land is Sportsman's Park, located east of Aberdeen, ID. Sportsman's Park is a 30-acre access site and provides campground facilities and a boat launch onto American Falls Reservoir.  The park is managed by Bingham County Parks and Recreation Department.