Name: Fish Slough WSA
WSA Complex: Volcanic Tablelands
Acreage: 14,450 acres
Location: 5 miles north of Bishop along the transition between the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts
There are three separate habitat areas, all with different moisture regimes, found in the Fish Slough WSA: wetland, seasonally-wet alkali meadows, and drier uplands.
The wetland areas form an island oasis in the middle of the arid desert, an area which is key habitat for migratory birds and home to the endangered Owens Pupfish, a two-inch desert fish that can tolerate a wide range of water temperature, from 50-100+ ° F.
As water evaporates from the alkali meadows, encrusted minerals are left on the surface, making the soils alkaline. This area is home to the Fish-Slough Milk Vetch, a threatened plant that has evolved to fit the unique conditions at Fish Slough, and can be found nowhere else in the world!
The uplands have some amazing rock formations. Have some fun and try to make shapes out of their weird forms. These rocks are the result of the eruption of the massive Long Valley Caldera 760,000 years ago.
The eastside of Fish Slough is thought to have been used by Paiute Indians for ricegrass collection. Seed collecting sites, hunting camp sites, and petroglyphs are found scattered throughout Fish Slough.
The riparian areas are excellent for bird-watching. Raptors soar above, hummingbirds flutter in the lush, green vegetation near streams, and songbirds chirp throughout the region.
The rock formations at the Happy Boulders and the Sad Boulders have strange shapes with convenient handholds, making this region a popular place for bouldering, with boulders to suit all skill levels.
Other uses include: hiking, bouldering, camping, scenic photography, hunting, horseback riding, motor touring on designated roads.