Sunday, May 18
About the Refuge:
Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge is located on the south edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert, 104 miles southwest of Tooele, and 78 miles northwest of Delta, Utah. The Refuge is extremely isolated and can be reached only by gravel roads across uninhabited desert. Local inquiry into road conditions is advised.
The Refuge was established in 1959, and encompasses 17,992 acres between two small mountain ranges. The refuge hosts about 3,000 visitors a year. Although duck and coot hunting is allowed during the season, visitors for wildlife observation outnumber hunters by six to one.
Five major springs and several lesser springs and seeps flow from a faultline at the base of the eastern front of the craggy Fish Springs Mountain Range. These mineral-laden, saline springs provide virtually all of the water for the Refuge's 10,000-acre marsh system. Since they maintain a year-round temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees, they provide a home for 5000 - 6000 wintering birds. The lush habitat, in the midst of miles of Great Basin Desert, is a true oasis for wildlife.
The marsh is divided into 9 sections by a gravel road, which makes viewing all areas very easy by car. The water is so clear that the sandy bottom is always visible, as are the schools of native Utah chub and introduced mosquito fish darting around in the shallows. You can also hear the song of the bull frog, and if you're lucky, maybe spot one.