Hagerman typically winters 30,000-40,000 ducks. Amazing numbers of Bald Eagle and waterfowl can be present during winter especially when other water bodies are frozen. The winter gull flock that roosts on the islands in Riley Pond often contains Herring Gull. Thayer’s, Glaucous, Glaucous-winged Gulls, and other varieties also occur occasionally. Large populations of breeding waterfowl (Mallard, Cinnamon and Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Redhead, Ruddy Duck, Canada Goose), Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Northern Harrier occur within the WMA. During spring and summer, waterbirds (American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Western Grebe, American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, California Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Forster’s Tern), shorebirds (Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Long-billed Curlew) are common. During migration, Common Loon, Tundra Swan, and other shorebirds can be seen.
Hagerman WMA is just south of the town of Hagerman in south central Idaho: From I-84, take exit 141. Drive 12.5 miles south on US-30, through Hagerman. Drive past the turnoff for the Hagerman Fish Hatchery and the highway rest area. At the Hagerman WMA sign, turn east onto the gravel road leading to the WMA.
A visit to Hagerman WMA would not be complete without a tour of Hagerman State Fish Hatchery, the Fish and Game’s largest resident trout production facility. A visitor information display provides hatchery details and a show pond is available for viewing.
For the more adventurous visitor, Hagerman WMA offers soft-surfaced walking trails. Just a short distance from the hatchery buildings, the Riley Creek Pond viewing blind offers the opportunity for an “up close” look at waterfowl. The trails winding around Oster Lakes allow visitors to view waterfowl, songbirds and other wildlife. The southernmost Oster Lake trail provides a panoramic view of the Snake River, Gridley Island and Hagerman Valley.