Vale Sewer Ponds

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The sewage ponds at Vale are located on the north side of Hwy 26 after it crosses the Malheur River. Gates into the Vale sewage ponds are located along Railroad Avenue, also called Lagoon Avenue on Google. You can get to Railroad off Hwy 26 east of Vale. Or, from town, take 10th to the north and follow it around as it becomes Railroad Ave. The ponds are fenced and you will find a gate on the west side and on the east side. When the gates are open, birders are allowed to walk inside, UNLESS (rarely) the agricultural fields adjacent to the east are being sprayed or fertilizer is being applied etc. If the gates are closed, permission has been granted for birders to climb over and enter on foot. Birders have permission to enter under these conditions. Please do not drive on the dike roads. Foot or bicycle traffic only. Decent viewing can be accomplished with a scope from Hwy 26. At milepost 247, pull well off the road and hike a steep embankment to reach a level that will allow viewing. This climb requires quite a bit of agility so don’t try it if you are unfit.

Habitat and Birds

Like all sewage ponds, a wide variety of birds are attracted to the Vale ponds. Ducks, grebes, herons, gulls, and shorebirds can be found here. Summer is slow but the rest of the year should produce a quality birding experience.