NAMPA, ID — On Monday, April 15, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge will reopen Lake Lowell to boating during daylight hours. All boat ramps, as well as the picnic and beach areas at the Lower Dam Recreation Area, will reopen. Boat ramps are located at the east and west ends of the Upper Dam, the Lower Dam Recreation Area, and Parking Lots 1 and 7 on the south side of the lake. The lake is closed seasonally each year, from October through April, to protect the wildlife and waterfowl that rely on the protected lakeshore and water.

Established as a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife in 1909, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge is one of the oldest refuges in the country. The lake was originally built as a reservoir to supply water for irrigation. Thousands of people visit the lake each year to swim, boat, hunt, fish and enjoy nature. The refuge is open from sun-up to sundown and always free.

“We encourage everyone to be safe while visiting the lake,” said Edward Owens, project leader for Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. “We are especially grateful to Canyon County Marine Patrol for helping to monitor activity on the lake and make sure it is safe for all.”

Loaner life jackets are available for boaters and swimmers at the east end of the Upper Dam, the Lower Dam Recreation Area and at Parking Lot 1. While recreating at Lake Lowell and the refuge, it is important that visitors follow federal, state and local regulations.

Refuge visitors can enjoy watching for fishing osprey and bald eagles, surface-nesting western and Clark’s grebes, and many other animals that will also be using the lake this summer. To protect wildlife, especially those nesting along and in the water, there are no-wake zones established on the southeast end of the lake, through the narrows and in a 200-yard zone on the south side of the lake.

In addition to participating in water-based recreation, refuge visitors are invited to enjoy wildlife and nature as they hike one of the short or long refuge trails. The refuge visitor center offers views of lake and upland wildlife from the observation room, hands-on kids’ activities, and opportunities to learn about local wildlife and refuge activities. The visitor center (13751 Upper Embankment Road) is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Refuge regulations are available at

For additional information and refuge maps, please visit

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit and connect with us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube.