Tway National Wildlife Area

Tway National Wildlife Area (NWA), in Saskatchewan, is an important area for waterfowl and other species.


Tway NWA lies in the Aspen Parkland Eco-region at the headwaters of the Carrot River, in central Saskatchewan. The marsh complex consists of managed wetlands surrounded by 96 hectares (ha) of rolling uplands covered by hayfields and trembling aspen forests. The marsh is a waterfowl staging area and a breeding area for:

Canada Geese
Canada geese. Photo: Darcy Henderson

Other wildlife using the area include:

  • song-birds
  • hawks
  • owls
  • small mammals
  • deer

In 1970, almost three-fourths of the wetlands here were drained. Canadian Wildlife Service acquired lands for the NWA in 1971 as a site for a Ducks Unlimited Canada project, which included:

  • flood control
  • the raise and control of water levels for waterfowl production
  • improved haying and grazing for cooperating farmers whose lands border on the marsh
Tway National Wildlife Area. Photo: Darcy Henderson

Today, wetlands make up almost three-fourths of the area and waterfowl production has increased. Shorelines of the marshes support emergent plants like:

  • cattail
  • bulrush
  • sedge

Previously cultivated land was seeded with smooth brome and alfalfa. Remaining natural vegetation in uplands consists of aspen groves and shrublands of:

  • willow
  • snowberry
  • silverberry

More information is provided on Tway NWA in the summary table below.


Under the Canada Wildlife Act, NWAs are protected and managed in accordance with the Wildlife Area Regulations. The primary purpose of NWAs is to protection and conserve wildlife and their habitat. For this purpose and according to the legislation, all activities in a NWA that could interfere with the conservation of wildlife can be prohibited. Consequently, most NWAs are not accessible to the public and all activities are prohibited. However, some activities may be authorized through public notice or the issuance of permits as long as they are consistent with the management plan goals for the NWA. For more information, consult the NWAs Management and Activities section.

Access to Tway NWA is not restricted and activities may be permitted in accordance with the conservation objectives of the NWA management plan. Public notices listing the authorized activities within the wildlife area are posted at access points.

The management of Tway NWA focuses on water level manipulation. The goal is to sustain wetland habitats for wildlife through drought or dry weather. Maintenance of water level control structures is accomplished in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited Canada. Canadian Wildlife Service manages haying or grazing of upland cover.

Few people use the NWA for bird watching, photography, or nature study. Tway NWA, however, provides opportunities for wildlife-oriented public activities which complement the conservation objectives of the NWA. Some waterfowl hunting and muskrat or beaver trapping may be allowed under specific conditions only.

More information on access and permitting can be obtained by contacting the Environment and Climate Change Canada regional office.

Map of the area

Map of Tway NWA
  • Long description

    Map showing the area around Tway Lake in central Saskatchewan. The boundaries of Tway NWA are indicated. The protected area is located to the south of Highway 320, the west of Highway 20 and the north of Tway. It covers a section of Tway Lake and a portion of the land surrounding it. The scale on the map is in kilometers. Permanent water, intermittent water, roads and highways are indicated on the map. A small inset national map situates the NWA in Canada.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries.

Summary table

Protected Area designation NWA
Province/territory Saskatchewan
Latitude/longitude 52°46' North / 105°25' West
Size 250 ha
Reason for Creation of protected area To enhance and protect a wetland habitat for waterfowl, insulated from threats of drainage by human activity or drought
Date created (Gazetted) 1971 - Legal Description
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category Habitat/Species Management Area (IV)
Additional designations None
Main habitat type
  • Wetland (70 %)
  • Grassland (30 %)
Listed Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Invasive species
  • smooth brome
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • sweet clover
  • quack grass
  • alfalfa
Other species


Mammals: deer

Main threats and challenges
  • Agricultural land uses in the watershed that affect water quantity and quality in the recipient marshes
  • Alien invasive species altering the structure of upland cover may reduce the abundance of some wildlife
Management Agency Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service)
Public access and usage Access is not prohibited. Primary usage is for waterfowl hunting in fall.

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented on this web page and any notice posted at the NWA site, the notice prevails as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

Contact us

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Program
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 0X4

Toll-free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)

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