Helpful descriptions and suggestions of things to do and see while vacationing and traveling in Idaho.
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Monday, January 31, 2011
Idaho Vacation: Wilson Springs, An Urban Fishery
Wilson Springs, located in south Nampa, is more than an urban fishery, it is an outdoor playground. This is a great year-round destination for your Idaho vacation. Make it a favorite thing to do any season of the year.
First the area - Wilson Springs Nature Area and Fishing Ponds is the full name but locals refer to the area as Wilson Springs. This 55 acre nature area is across the road from the Nampa Fish Hatchery and in Nampa city limits. A kiosk near the entrance from the main parking lot provides an overview of the area and explains the regulations.
Second the fishery. Fed by springs, there are four ponds and a central drain open to fishing year round. Two ponds are stocked with rainbow trout weekly during winter months and less frequently in spring and fall. Bluegill are also present in these ponds. One pond is devoted to warm water fish and feature largemouth bass. The 4th pond is a trophy trout pond with special regulations. Paved paths and docks extending into the ponds offer accessibility for handicapped individuals. A number of unpaved paths gives many access points to the ponds. The fishery is popular especially for older residents and families with younger children as fishing is relatively easy.
Third the paths and hiking trails. Paved paths wind through the area providing access to all ponds and a wetlands area. Unpaved paths follow the edges of ponds to give access to more of the natural area and the ponds. This area is very popular with local residents for outdoor exercise. It is rare to be completely alone in the Wilson Springs area. Having said that - the area does not give a crowded feeling. There is a lot of area to give everyone their own space.
Fourth the other wildlife. Due to the water and lush native vegetation, the area is very popular with a wide variety of birds including raptors, shorebirds, songbirds, upland birds, and waterfowl. During the winter months, at least 15 species of waterfowl alone can be seen at the area. Because the ponds are spring fed, they are ice free all winter except for the very coldest weather.
Access is easy, activities are varied, fun is to be enjoyed. You will be glad you took time to visit. Come often.
Directions: I-84 Exit #38; S onto Garrity Blvd 0.3 mi; L (E) onto Flamingo Ave 0.1 mi; curve R (S) and Flamingo turns into Happy Valley Rd; go 3.2 mi; R (W) onto Greenhurst 1.9 mi; L (S) on S Powerline Rd 0.7 mi; R (W) into Wilson Ponds parking lot. It is about 3351 S Powerline Rd.
Idaho Fish and Game web site: fishandgame.idaho.gov. The Southwest Regional IDFG office is located on the north edge of the Wilson springs area at 3101 S Powerline Rd.