March 27, 2012

Foggy at Freezout Lake


We took a long weekend and spent part of it across the Continental Divide, checking out the spring waterfowl migration at Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area between Fairfield and Choteau.

While halfway decent weather and more than 50,000 snow geese were in the forecast before we left, we found a lot of fog and fewer birds. Still, the trip was worth it for the ease of viewing and the species present.


Freezout offers several roads and trails among the main lake and a series of ponds on the plains just east of the Rocky Mountain Front. Every year in mid- to late March thousands of snow geese stop in the area on the migration north. Several other species can be seen, as well, including Canada geese, tundra swans, American white pelicans, northern pintails, great blue herons and more.


The last time we visited Freezout, more snow geese were passing through and the lake and ponds were still partially frozen, concentrating the birds on open water. This time, a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks representative told us, the fog kept what geese there were in nearby fields. We saw a number of species, but overall numbers were low.


If you're thinking of visiting Freezout, check the spring waterfowl hot line at (406) 467-2646.

See pictures from Freezout Lake here.

Distance: Several roads run through the wildlife management area, from which you can walk among the lake and ponds.

Trailhead: From Fairfield, drive 4 miles north on U.S. Highway 89 to the main entrance and information kiosk.