Fergus Falls area wildlife

The Fergus Falls wildlife work area

1509 First Ave. N
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
[email protected]

Glenwood field station

23070 N Lakeshore Drive
Glenwood, MN 56334
[email protected]
Maintaining grassland habitat on a Fergus Falls area WMA.

Maintaining grassland habitat on a Fergus Falls area WMA.

 A sinkhole underneath an old water control structure resulted in this new one being built so water levels can be managed to benefit wildlife.

A sinkhole underneath an old water control structure resulted in this new one being built so water levels can be managed to benefit wildlife.

Hunters, trappers and wildlife watchers in Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Fergus Falls area wildlife staff.

Area wildlife supervisor Nicholas Snavely with up to three full-time staff, two seasonal laborers and two part-time office assistants, oversee an area that includes 3.9 million acres of public and private land. This includes 183 state Wildlife Management Areas totaling 40,615 acres.

A significant feature in the Fergus Falls wildlife work area is Lake Christina, an important waterfowl breeding and migration shallow lake for many species of waterfowl.

The staff is also responsible for six waterfowl refuges, 10 state duck refuges, two wildlife sanctuaries, six state game refuges and six designated waterfowl feeding and resting areas that are undisturbed areas for ducks and geese during the waterfowl hunting season.

This work area features prairies on the west and south and forests on the north and east. It includes a diverse habitat base of grasslands, wetlands, lakes and forests intermixed with agricultural land.

It is known for its many shallow lakes that provide excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities. It's also well known for its pheasant hunting. Deer and wild turkey hunting is especially good in the eastern portion of the work area. Furbearing species include the usual farmland species such as raccoons, mink and muskrats, and in the last decade, fisher and river otters have become fairly common.

Our work
License Dollars At Work logo and link to page
  • Managed water levels on two designated wildlife management lakes totaling 974 acres to improve waterfowl habitat.
  • Partnered with Ducks Unlimited to manage wild rice on 11 lakes in Otter Tail County.
  • Managed water levels on a 120 acre moist soil unit at Manston WMA to enhance waterfowl and shorebird migration habitat.
  • Worked with partners to acquire key parcels of land to be included in the WMA system, including purchasing 442 additional WMA acres in 2018.
  • Enhanced or created 7 shallow wetlands on the Doran WMA.
  • Planted 130 acres of native grasses and flowers on 6 WMAs and harvested 3500 lbs of prairie seed for future prairie restoration projects
  • Enhanced 300 acres of grasslands by removing invasive woody species.
  • Cooperated with livestock producers to graze up to 260 acres of WMA grasslands to improve its quality for nesting, security and winter wildlife cover.
  • Monitored, maintained or improved 114 user facilities (parking lots, gates, trails, etc.); maintained 6 miles of access road; and monitored 287 miles of WMA boundary.
  • Responded to numerous nuisance wildlife cases, including bear, deer, turkey and goose crop depredations and offered technical assistance and abatement materials to control depredation.
  • Completed controlled grassland burns on over 1,200 acres on 9 WMAs and assisted on another eight burns on other public and private lands under easement.
  • Sprayed 115 acres of invasive cattails on 3 wetlands to enhance waterfowl and other wetland wildlife basins.
  • Completed census and survey work for pheasants, deer, prairie chickens, predators and ruffed grouse and assisted in collecting samples from hunter-harvested deer in CWD monitoring areas.
  • In collaboration with partners, construct control structures on Ash Lake, Jennie Lake, Towner Lake, Lake Christina and Denton Slough, and manage these shallow lakes by manipulating water levels to improve water quality and food availability for waterfowl.
  • Adding three tracts of land to existing WMAs in Stevens County totaling 200 acres. Pheasants Forever purchased two of these tracts and donated to the DNR.
  • Conduct two draw-downs in 2015 and 2023 on Lake Christina and in 2015 on the Urness WMA. Completed construction of a new water control Structure at the Nora WMA in 2016.
  • Restoring, enhancing and/or developing 150 to 500 acres of native grass stands on area WMAs to provide quality grassland habitat for nesting, security and winter cover.
  • Provide technical assistance and staff to help manage water levels on North Ottawa Impoundment, which was built to provide flood control and natural resource values. The North Ottawa Impoundment is a three-square mile impoundment that includes nine internal cells and more than a dozen water level control structures that will be managed to provide migration habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl throughout the growing season.
Talk with us

Fergus Falls office

Slide text left for phones & emails

Nicholas SnavelyArea wildlife supervisor218-671-7969[email protected]
VacantAssistant area wildlife supervisor218-671-7968 
Marnie FranzeOffice administrative specialist218-671-7978[email protected]
VacantLaborer trades and equipment  

Glenwood field station

Slide text left for phones & emails

Jason StregeAssistant area wildlife supervisor320-634-7342[email protected]
VacantAssistant area wildlife supervisor  
Alex LawyerSeasonal general laborer320-634-7337[email protected]
Christine SteinOffice administrative specialist320-634-7338[email protected]

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