Neely Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife
Neely Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary was established in 1952, along with Opuntia Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary, to replace the Quill Lakes sanctuary that was delisted in the same year. Located 50 kilometres southwest of the town of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, this sanctuary encompasses Neely Lake and the islands within it as well as the surrounding land that is normally covered in water.
This site is an important fall resting and feeding area for Canada geese and it is also used by a small number of white-fronted geese, tundra swans and various species of ducks.
A few pairs of Canada geese regularly breed within the sanctuary as do certain species of duck including:
- lesser scaup
- ruddy duck
- common goldeneye
- blue-winged teal
Did you know?
Muskeg was originally an Algonquin term meaning “grassy bog”. This landscape is found mostly in northern regions and is formed mostly out of dead, decomposing plants and sphagnum moss, which acts as a sponge, absorbing many times its weight in water.
The nearby Red Deer River and Shand Creek are also thought to contribute ground water to Neely Lake’s water supply. Local beavers influence the water levels in the lake by building dams. When the water is high, it drains out on the east side of the lake, eventually reaching Bubbling Creek to the northeast.
When the water levels in the lake are average (neither exceedingly high, nor low), cattail, bulrush, spangletop and sedge form a border, up to 75 metres wide, around the whole lake, with the largest stands forming at the south and north ends. Patches of these same plants can also be seen throughout the lake and the islands within it are essentially floating mats of vegetation. Beyond this border along the shoreline, the plant life consists mostly of sedges and various associated wet meadow species. The lands around the lake support dense stands of trembling aspen, balsam poplar, black spruce, patterned peatland bog and fen as well as tame pasture and cultivated cropland. There is also a community pasture on the east side of the lake.
Map of the area
Map showing the location of the Neely Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Saskatchewan, Neely Lake, Red Deer River, McKillop Creek, Shand Creek, and Boundary Creek. The map shows the boundary of the refuge, which enclose Neely Lake. The scale of the map is in kilometers. Permanent and intermittent waters are shown on the map, as are roads and highways. An inset on the map shows the location of the shelter in Canada.
Access to the sanctuary
Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, such as Neely Lake, are established across the country to protect migratory birds during critical periods of their life cycle. Whether these areas are used for feeding, resting or nesting, they play an important role in the survival of many species. Access to each migratory bird sanctuary varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager. Please ensure that you are aware of how you can help protect this sanctuary and please read the restrictions, including those on firearms and hunting, which are in place to conserve the wildlife that call it home. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large inside Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.
Please respect that public access to the Neely Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary is at the discretion of the many private landowners and crown leaseholders adjacent to the lake, or via the limited municipal road access points.
If you would like further information on what is permitted in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, please visit the Management and Activities section of the website. For more information on Neely Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.
Key facts about Neely Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary
- Neely Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Google Maps (Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information that can help locate the migratory bird sanctuary and does not represent the official map or site name.)
- Learn more about Muskeg (The Canadian Encyclopedia)
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas – Prairie Region
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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