WHMA / WHMA / Ocean Lake


Public Access Area Open: Open year round
Recreation Opportunities: Fishing, Hunting, Camping, Hiking
Amenities: Comfort Station, Campgrounds, Boat Ramps
Restrictions: Open year-round
Additional Restrictions: No human presence within 1/2 mile of aerator Dec 15 - March 10
Total Acres: 11288.6

The 11,505-acre Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area was created in the 1940's through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and was completed in 1974.  Several bodies of water including Ocean Lake were created by the Riverton Reclamation Project in the early 1920's and were formed by irrigation flows to a natural sump.  The area is 17 miles northwest of Riverton.  It is loaded with wildlife and offers plenty of recreational opportunities.  You can reach Ocean Lake from U.S. Highway 26, or Wyoming Highway 134 and Eight Mile Road.

This habitat area is managed primarily for waterfowl production.  This warm water lake with depths to 31 feet is situated between the Owl Creek Mountains and the Wind River Range.  There is a wide range of habitats, from arid sagebrush grassland and cultivated croplands to permanently wet marsh and open water.  You will find geese, ducks, sandhill cranes, pheasants, mourning doves, cottontail rabbits, mule deer, muskrats, raccoons, red foxes, mink and skunks.

Ocean Lake is best known for its waterfowl and pheasant hunting.  Between 1,500 and 2,000 pheasants are released each year to supplement native bird populations.  There are also dove and small game hunting opportunities, as well as trapping opportunities.  If you like to fish, there are plenty of walleye, trout, bass, crappie, perch, bullhead and ling.

More than three miles of improved roads. Boat ramps and picnic shelters are available at three of these sites.

Most of the area is classified as crucial breeding and nesting range for Canada geese.  Much of the southeastern portion has been classified as supporting habitat for whooping cranes, currently an endangered species.  Habitat has been improved through the construction of dikes, the creation of numerous ponds and construction and placement of 200 nesting structures.  During migration, up to 3,000 geese, 400 sandhill cranes and 10,000 ducks may be observed here.

Wetlands like those at Ocean Lake are among the richest habitat types in our country.  They provide permanent water and suitable habitat for waterfowl, shore birds, upland game and many other wildlife species.  Nature lovers and photographers will have a lot to observe, like grebes, terns, pelicans, snipes and avocets to add to their lists. 

Camping is permitted in designated camping area with a 14-day camping limit.

Ocean Lake is open all year except for a one-half (1/2) mile area around the aeration system, which shall be closed to human presence beginning December 15 through March 10.



For questions about this Public Access Area, please contact:
Lander Regional Office

260 Buena Vista Dr.
Lander, WY 82520
ph: (307) 332-2688
Visit our Region Page

Last Updated: 8/3/2017
*Some boundary areas are missing and will be updated as soon as possible.
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