Freezout Lake

Choteau, Montana

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1 Review
4 out of 5
Freezout Lake (including Priest Lake) is one of the best birding areas in Montana. The lake is included in a 12,000-acre wildlife management area operated by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. This large, prairie wetland just north of Fairfield is a key stopover for large numbers of migrant birds that travel along the East Front of the Rocky Mountains. Migratory and breeding waterfowl and gulls are especially numerous here due to the expanse of open water and the proximity to extensive grain fields. Freezout Lake and Priest Lake are natural sumps where water would accumulate from runoff. The lakes would dry up during drought years, leaving exposed alkali flats. But since the development of the Greenfield Irrigation Project, water has been diverted from mountain drainages leaving water at Freezout year-round. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.
Birding Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Montana

by Terry McEneaney (Falcon Guides)

Freezout Lake (including Priest Lake) is one of the best birding areas in Montana. The lake is included in a 12,000-acre wildlife management area operated by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. This large, prairie wetland just north of Fairfield is a key stopover for large numbers of migrant birds that travel along the East Front of the Rocky Mountains. Migratory and breeding waterfowl and gulls are especially numerous here due to the expanse of open water and the proximity to extensive grain fields.

Freezout Lake and Priest Lake are natural sumps where water would accumulate from runoff. The lakes would dry up during drought years, leaving exposed alkali flats. But since the development of the Greenfield Irrigation Project, water has been diverted from mountain drainages leaving water at Freezout year-round. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.

©  Terry McEneaney/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Choteau
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 2 to 8 hours
Best Times: Year-round; best in spring; March through November
Local Contacts: Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area; Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Local Maps: Montana Highway Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Freezout Lake

Recent Trail Reviews

6/11/2006
0

I am new to Montana and an avid bird watcher, this was well worth the drive from Helena. I am originally from New England, so there were a lot of different birds that I had never seen before, the white pelicans, yellow-headed black birds, and different types of sea gulls . I went mid June so not as spectacular as the fall I have heard, but still worth my time. There were no other people around so I was able to stop and sit anytime I wanted to. If you go remember mosquito repellent, they swarm all around you.



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