Becker Lake Wildlife Area webpage
Becker Lake Wildlife Area map
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Tips for birding Becker Lake
This is a popular lake for fishing, so the waterbirds are often concentrated at the south end. Particularly good for ducks, but also look for gulls, terns, and shorebirds. Flocks of blackbirds often include Yellow-headed. A drive along adjacent Becker Lake Rd will take you through rows of lush trees. Look for sparrows in the fields and for Lewis’s Woodpeckers in tall snags.
From Northern Arizona Audubon Society
About Becker Lake
Becker Lake was created in 1880 by constructing a dam at the head of an old oxbow of the Little Colorado River. The lake was used principally for irrigation purposes. However, a fishery did exist here. In 1973, the Becker family sold 338 deeded acres to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission (Commission), which included the lake of approximately 100 surface acres. In that year, the Commission directed the Arizona Game and Fish Department (Department) to manage Becker Lake as a quality trout fishery. Since that time, the Department has managed the lake as a “Blue Ribbon” fishery with special regulations, such as motor restrictions, bag and possession limits, restricted methods of take and seasonal closures. In January 2002, the Department purchased an additional 291 acres of adjacent private land utilizing the Department’s Heritage Fund to protect and enhance stream and riparian habitat along the Little Colorado River for wildlife species of special concern.
The Becker Lake Wildlife Area is located in east-central Arizona, on the west side of Springerville and within its city limits. There are two public access points. The Lakeview Trail access is two miles west of the traffic light in Springerville on U.S. Highway 60; turn south into the main Becker Lake area, designated with signage. The River Walk Trail access is one mile west of the traffic light on Highway 60; turn south into the parking area just before crossing the bridge over the Little Colorado River. Parking is at designated sites only and the wildlife area is open from sunrise to sunset.
The Lakeview Trail is a one-mile loop following the western edge of Becker Lake to an observation platform overlooking the southern, marshy end of the lake. Here, waterfowl and shorebirds, such as white-faced ibis and killdeer, can easily be seen, especially during migration. River Walk Trail meanders along the Little Colorado River for a half-mile where mule deer and beaver are readily found. Several types of raptors also can be seen here, including bald eagle (in winter), American kestrel, osprey, northern harrier and red-tailed hawk. The surrounding grasslands are good places to spot pronghorn antelope, Gunnison’s prairie dog, coyote and a variety of ground squirrels and chipmunks.
From Becker Lake Wildlife Area webpage