Wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing and more are available at Mud Lake Wildlife Management Area. Wildlife watchers can use the Kaster Overlook Tower at Cormorant bay, for a wonderful view of double-crested cormorants, great blue herons and other colonial nesting birds throughout the spring and summer. The tower also allows visitors to view the vast landscape with habitats for deer, elk, and even moose roam.


Having once been a swamp, Mud Lake currently gathers water from the Camas Creek and other sources. The lake doesn’t allow for any outflow of water, and instead, the bottom soil drains the water away. The shallow depth, combined with the high summer heat causes large amounts of the water to evaporate during the summer months. The lake was at one time, much larger.

The land was purchased back in 1940 by Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game. They bought 607 acres, but since the acquisition of adjacent land parcels, the Wildlife Management Area has expanded to over 8,853 acres.

How to get there

Located only three miles north of the towns of Mud Lake and Terreton, in Jefferson County. The lake is accessible by following signs that lead towards the lake.


Mud Lake Wildlife Management Area is open year-round and has no established visiting hours. School and other groups are encouraged to visit Mud Lake during the spring when waterfowl are in peak.

Tips for Visiting:

  • There are no set visiting hours.
  • Access for the Disabled is available at the North Shore Campground.
  • Vehicles/Parking are permitted only on roadways to preserve vegetation.
  • Nesting Area Restrictions: From January 15th-August 30th, all watercraft are prohibited in portions of Mud Lake to protect nesting waterfowl.
  • Wildlife Observation/Photography: Visitors are welcome to hike all open interior roads for wildlife viewing. Be sure to visit the Kaster Overlook Tower at Cormorant Bay to view colonial nesting birds.
  • Check out the Mud Lake WMA Headquarters for more current information.

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