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Fishing, boating, picnicking and hunting are popular activities at McKay Creek Reservoir. Also popular is wildlife viewing and birdwatching. There is no camping permitted. Aquatic habitats serve as resting and feeding areas for wintering waterfowl, while surrounding shrub-steppe and riparian corridors provide habitat for small mammals, mule deer, songbirds, and birds of prey.
Osprey nest in cottonwoods; and bald eagles are seen in the area in fall and winter. During late summer, exposed mud flats provide a source of food for migrating shorebirds. Situated only 5 miles south of the town of Pendleton, Oregon, the refuge receives almost 50,000 annual visitors, most during the summer months.
Nestled between the plains and the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge offers habitat for rare and endangered species and is a haven for breeding and migratory birds. The lack of other local wetland habitats elevates the importance of this refuge as a home to a variety of wildlife and plant species in an arid environment. Fishing, boating, picnicking and hunting are popular activities at McKay Creek Reservoir. There is no camping permitted.
: Eastern Oregon is generally high desert broken by several mountain ranges. Annual precipitation accumulates to less than 10 inches except for in the mountain ranges which receive higher amounts of winter snow and summer rain. Eastern Oregon experiences much greater temperature extremes than Western Oregon. Summer temperatures often reach 90 degrees F at the lower elevations and winter temperatures commonly drop well below freezing.
Location: This 1,200-acre reservoir is located 8 miles south of Pendleton. From Pendleton, go south on U.S. 395 for 8 miles.
Contact Info: McKay ReservoirMcKay Creek National Wildlife RefugeUmatillaOR97882509-545-8588
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