Byron Watchable Wildlife Area

 

Byron Hatchery Watchable Wildlife Area entrance sign

Byron Hatchery Watchable Wildlife Area (WWA) is a destination on the Great Plains Trail and showcases three different habitats in a 40-acre area. Byron WWA includes a 1/2-mile self-guided trail through a cat-tail marsh, forested swamp and restored mid-grass prairie. The trail contains informational signs, observation blinds and piers to get visitors closer to wildlife. Other features designed to attract wildlife include bat houses, chimney swift tower, a barn owl nest house and a bluebird trail.

 

 

Byron Hatchery Nature Center signLocated adjacent to the Byron state fish hatchery that provides sportsfish such as saugeye, walleye, striped bass hybrids and smallmouth bass for statewide stocking, Byron WWA has an ever-changing variety of wildlife and blooming plants. Schools and citizens are encouraged to visit both sites to see what’s new. The WWA is open for self-guided tours daily during sunlight hours; weekday visitors also can tour the fish hatchery from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Directions to Byron Hatchery:

Byron Hatchery is located north of Great Salt Plains Refuge. From the junction of Highways 38 and 11, go north two miles and turn west at the first intersection. 

For more information or to schedule tours, call 580/474-2663. 

Learn more about the Byron state fish hatchery by watching this YouTube video.

 

Schedule of Events

The Nature Center located at the Watchable Wildlife Area will be open on the 3rd Saturdays of each month, except April, July and October.  The biologist on duty will be happy to visit with visitors about wildlife in the area or take a walk with you on the nature trail.  Hours will be 9 am to 3 pm.

April 26th – Crystal and Birding Festival 9 am – 4pm List of activities & offered tours: Click Here.

May 17th - Nature Center Open from 9 am to 3 pm. Biologist will be available to take visitors around the trail.

June 21 - Nature Center Open from 9 am to 3 pm. Biologist will be available to take visitors around the trail.

July 19 - Nature Center Open from 9 am to 1 pm. Biologist will be available to take visitors around the trail.

August 16 – Prairie At Night More information to come

October 18th – Monarch Butterfly Tagging Program. More information to come.

November 15 - Nature Center Open from 9 am to 3 pm. Biologist will be available to take visitors around the trail.

December 20 - Nature Center Open from 9 am to 3 pm. Biologist will be available to take visitors around the trail.

 

Birds seen at Byron Hatchery Watchable Wildlife Area during the Bird & Crystal Festival
 

 

Volunteering for Byron WWA

 

If you’d like to get outdoors, help wildlife and enhance your own knowledge, the Wildlife Diversity Program could use your help at the Byron Watchable Wildlife Area. Volunteers can assist in surveying and identifying local birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and plants. They also can maintain the walking trail, a butterfly garden and a nature center. Finally, volunteers are needed to lead guided tours and coordinate monthly educational activities.

Volunteers have a "front-row" seat to the changing wildlife and plants that grace Byron Hatchery. To date, visitors have observed more than 100 wildlife species. Some wildlife seen include checkered garter snakes, blue-winged teal, blue-gray gnatcatchers, pelicans, orioles and tiger swallowtail butterflies, as well as many other species of songbirds, waterfowl, mammals, amphibians and wildflowers.

If you’re interested in volunteering at Byron WWA, contact the Wildlife Diversity Program at 405-424-0099. Volunteers are provided ongoing training throughout the year and must work 10 hours per year to remain currently trained (less than one hour per month).

 

 

More Information about Byron WWA