Friday, May 4, 2012
Access Modifications For Some Ponds At Sand Creek WMA Again In Effect
ST. ANTHONY - The recovery of trumpeter swans in the Yellowstone Ecosystem has been one of wildlife management's success stories over the past seventy five years. Among the key locations in the ongoing recovery efforts has been the Idaho Department of Fish & Game's (IDFG) Sand Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near St. Anthony. The continued attempts to nest by trumpeter swans at the Sand Creek WMA means that IDFG will once again delay opening access to portions of the WMA until July 1, 2010. Areas that are specifically restricted from all public access include Ponds 3 and 4 in the main pond complex. It is important to note that both fishing and public access are being restricted at these sites until July 1, 2012, and starting this year the use of watercraft on all Sand Creek WMA waters will be restricted until July 15.
According to Sand Creek WMA Manager Eric Anderson, "Access is being restricted, because nesting swans are generally intolerant of disturbance by humans, especially with younger pairs or nests established in areas of low human activity." This is the nineteenth year that IDFG has closed these ponds for the opening weekend of fishing season. "Without the closures, chances are good that human disturbance would cause the swans to abandon their nests, resulting in a loss of production for the year," said Anderson.
An additional access modification was started two years ago when the use of watercraft was prohibited on all of the WMA waters until July 15. The mid-July date is recommended by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service as the date that affords the greatest potential for waterfowl in the intermountain region to fledge successfully.
The cooperation of sportsmen at Sand Creek will help insure the success of the recovery efforts. The remainder of the WMA is open to the public, and anglers are invited to enjoy fishing at Ponds 1, 2, and Blue Creek Reservoir. Area users are asked to respect all wildlife, especially nesting waterfowl, and obey all posted closures.