The Arizona Game and Fish Department manages the middle portion of the lake, though much of the shoreline is accessible to the public. You can park in the campground area, and walk in either direction along the shoreline. Birding is good here at any time of year.
From fall to winter, the lake harbors abundant wintering waterfowl, such as Canada goose, redhead, ring-necked duck, common goldeneye, gadwall, bufflehead, canvasback, northern shoveler and ruddy duck.
Common loon and other oddities are sometimes present. Other winter species are bald eagle, phainopepla, Townsend’s solitaire, sage thrasher, an occasional prairie falcon, and western and mountain bluebird.
The lake can freeze in some years, causing birds to go elsewhere, but it is often open throughout most of the winter. Fall and spring migration periods are the most productive times to visit, when species include various waterfowl, shorebirds, thrushes, warblers, flycatchers, vireos and sparrows. This is a reliable place to see American pipit.
Habitat: Aquatic, wetland riparian, grassland, juniper woodland
Seasons: All year. Birding is best during migration and winter.
Location: The lake is located in Concho, just south of State Highway 61. Concho is 27 miles northeast of Show Low and 15 miles west of St. Johns.
Access: Sunrise to sunset.