About the Refuge

The Stillwater Complex is made up of three refuges located within an 80 mile radius of Reno, in northern Nevada. Situated in the high desert, Stillwater NWRC offers a wide range of natural resources and an array of recreational and educational opportunities.

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge is located in the Lahontan Valley, near the community of Fallon, sixty miles east of Reno. For current refuge information, please contact them directly at: 775/423-5128 or email at: [email protected]

1. The Stillwater wetlands are well-known to birders, as this area has been designated a site of international importance by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network (external link) because of the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, such as Long-billed dowitcher, Black-necked stilt, and American avocet passing through during migration.

Also listed as a 'Globally Important Bird Area' by the American Bird Conservancy (external link) and an 'Important Bird Area' by the National Audubon Society (external link), more than 280 species have been sighted in the area. These tremendously rich and diverse wetlands attract more than a quarter million waterfowl, as well as over 20,000 other water birds, including American white pelicans, Double-crested cormorants, White-faced ibis, and several species of egrets, herons, gulls, and terns.

Stillwater NWR site:   http://www.fws.gov/refuge/stillwater/

2. Fallon National Wildlife Refuge is located in the Lahontan Valley, near the community of Fallon, approximately seventy miles east of Reno. Fallon Refuge is dominated by gently rolling to flat desert shrublands consisting of greasewood and saltbush. A system of both active and stable dunes also accentuates the topography in this area. The lowest elevation found in the Stillwater Refuge Complex is found on this refuge, at a low of about 3,800 feet in the Carson Sink. At the terminus of a branch of the Carson River, there is currently limited hunting available on Fallon NWR, including waterfowl and upland game. Access is limited to open roads, and four-wheel drives are recommended.

Fallon NWR site:   http://www.fws.gov/refuge/fallon/

3. Anaho Island supports one of the largest breeding colonies of American white pelicans in the western United States. In recent years, between 8,000 and 10,000 pelicans have returned to Anaho Island during the spring from their wintering areas in Southern California and Baja, Mexico. These fish-eating birds rely on the spring spawning runs of Pyramid Lake fish as well as the numerous shallow lakes and wetlands within 70 miles of the island, primarily the Lahontan Valley and Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge.

The island also provides nesting habitat for Double crested cormorants, California gulls, Great blue herons, Black-crowned night herons, and occasionally Caspian terns. Anaho Island is not open to the public; recreation on Pyramid Lake is regulated by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

Anaho Island NWR site:   http://www.fws.gov/refuge/anaho/