FISH SPRINGS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge NWR, located at the southern end of the Great Salt Lake Desert, was established in 1959 to provide habitat for migrating and wintering birds. Totaling 17,992 acres, the Refuge supports 10,000 acres of lush spring fed wetlands, a critical habitat in the arid Great Basin. The springs are brackish and warm.
Nearly 280 species of birds have been recorded on the Refuge. Waterfowl populations can peak at more than 20,000 birds and a substantial shorebird migration can be observed during spring and fall. Fourteen different birds of prey species are normally recorded annually. Many native mammals and reptiles can be found in the rich environs of the Refuge. The Refuge is named for the native Utah chub that is found throughout the Refuge springs and impoundments.
The Refuge has a very rich cultural history. Occupation by Native American tribes is thought to have occurred more than 10,000 years ago, and evidence of several different Native American cultures is found throughout the Refuge. Modern day inhabitation dates back to 1861 when the Pony Express maintained a station at what is today the Thomas Ranch Watchable Wildlife Area. It was followed by the Central Overland Stage and the nation's first transcontinental automobile highway, the Lincoln Highway.