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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

Mud Lake Property

Property Description

Mud Lake Conservation Area is a wetland in the town of Clear Lake that was protected in a series of four acquisitions and donations. In 1998, eleven acres on the east side of Mud Lake were donated to the Trust, and in 2000, 2003, and 2006 an additional 49 acres were purchased with the Trust's land acquisition fund. Mud Lake provides important waterfowl habitat and acts as a reservoir for flood waters from the Skagit River.

Threats to the conservation values of the Conservation Area are created by land uses on adjacent properties. Water quality degradation and habitat fragmentation can be caused by activities on neighboring lands. More homes are being built nearby and local residents are increasingly looking to the Conservation Area for recreational access (walking, fishing, and hunting). Potential water quality threats include polluted surface water run-off from adjacent and nearby roads, residences, and farms.

Ecology

Mud Lake Conservation Area is an important wetland system in the Nookachamps watershed, providing high quality habitat for waterfowl fish and other animals.

Mud Lake is part of the Nookachamps River system. Cattails, yellow pond lilies, shrubs and trees grow along a majority of the shoreline. It is fairly difficult to reach the lake itself for recreation, so it is less disturbed than many other lakes in the area. Birds nest around the lake and some on the stable, sheltered vegetation clumps in the lake. A variety of amphibian species have been observed in and around the lake, as eggs and adults.

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has modeled Mud Lake as possible habitat for Chinook, Coho, Chum and Pink salmonids. Mud Lake Conservation Area also protects habitat for the following Washington State Priority Species: Salmon and trout, cavity nesting birds (Wood Ducks and other waterfowl), Great Blue Herons, Pileated Woodpeckers, Vaux’s Swift, Townsend’s Big-eared Bats and Mink. 

Amphibians at Mud Lake found by Girl Scouts who participated in a native tree planting in 2017. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Above: Amphibians at Mud Lake found by Girl Scouts who participated in a native tree planting in 2017. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Mud Lake Conservation Area protects critical wetlands habitat where the Nookachamps River flows into the Skagit River in Clear Lake. Mud Lake serves a significant role in storing water and buffering flooding from the Skagit River. Mud Lake Conservation Area is located entirely in the floodplain of the Skagit River. 

Stewardship and Conservation

Because of its close proximity to Mount Vernon, Mud Lake Conservation Area is an important place for the schools and communities of the lower Skagit to access natural areas closest to their community. 

Students from Emerson High School participate in stewardship at Mud Lake Conservation Area in 2015. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Above: Students from Emerson High School participate in stewardship at Mud Lake Conservation Area in 2015. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Mud Lake Conservation Area is part of Skagit Land Trust’s Conservation Classrooms program which provides hands-on learning experiences through field-based education and stewardship projects for elementary, middle and high school classes in Skagit County. Teachers are invited to bring their students for field trips with custom programming provided by Skagit Land Trust staff. See our Engaging Youth in Conservation page for more details.

Stewardship and management of this property is possible with the help of many hardworking volunteers.

Click here to read more about the Land Stewards for this or other Skagit Land Trust properties.

Volunteer Girl Scouts plant native trees and shrubs at Mud Lake Conservation Area in 2012. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Above: Volunteer Girl Scouts plant native trees and shrubs at Mud Lake Conservation Area in 2012. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Access

Mud Lake Conservation Area provides public access to Mud Lake which is occasionally used for recreational boating and fishing. The Clear Lake Historical Association owns a grassy strip of land between Trust property and Highway 9, which is used as a park and a community space.  Children from the area play in the forest around the edges of the lake. 

The Mud Lake Conservation Area is located on the west edge of the town of Clear Lake. The property is along Mud Lake Road, between a narrow 2 acre strip of open land owned by the Clear Lake Historical Association (to the east, along Hwy 9) and privately owned land (to the north and west). The site is almost entirely within the FEMA 100 year floodplain. Clear Lake lies about 1,000 ft to the east.

There is a large grassy strip along Hwy 9 with a view overlooking the lake and an interpretive sign with historical information. This property is occasionally used for environmental education for various groups.

Click here for a link to Google Maps for Mud Lake Conservation Area.

Students from Mount Vernon participate in restoration and a trash cleanup at Mud Lake Conservation Area. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Students from Mount Vernon participate in restoration and a trash cleanup at Mud Lake Conservation Area. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

How to Get There

Driving Directions from Mt. Vernon: Drive east on College Way, then north on Hwy 9. This property is at the intersection of Hwy 9 and Mud Lake Rd. in Clear Lake. If you are coming from Mount Vernon, the property is just before Francis Rd. Park across Hwy 9 in the church parking lot if it is not a busy day, or in the lot to the south of the Historical Association’s mowed strip at the intersection of Hwy 9 and Mud Lake Road.

Property Info

  • Type: Trust-Owned
  • Location: Clear Lake
  • Acreage: 60 acres
  • Date Added: 1998
  • Please visit this property!

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