At 6,100 feet in elevation, Recapture Reservoir lies in the shadow of the Abajo Mountains to the west. The once large reservoir has seen its water level dwindle in recent years, and currently the reservoir may only be 3-4 football fields long. Surrounded by canyons covered in pinyon juniper woodland, and Ponderosa pine, the shorelines have a desert feel too them. The juniper habitat on the east side of the reservoir is very thick. When the water is higher, a wetland habitat is often found near the inlet at the back of the reservoir, while there are usually plenty of beaches and sandbar habitat as well.
In this part of the state Recapture was the biggest open body of water east of the Colorado--but now with it's receding water level, its days as a waterbird migrant trap might be numbered. Historically in late March through May the lake attracted a variety of waterbirds. Notably more than 20 species of waterfowl have been observed here including WOOD DUCK, BLUE_WINGED TEAL, GREATER SCAUP, and HOODED MERGANSER. Diving birds like COMMON LOON and WESTERN GREBE are usually present as well. A decent shorebird list has built up with most species being reported just once or a few times. SNOWY PLOVER, MARBLED GODWIT, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, and both RED-NECKED and WILSON'S PHALAROPE have all been observed. BONAPARTE'S and FRANKLIN'S GULL have been seen during migration along with CALIFORNIA and RING-BILLED GULL. A spring wears on and breeders arrive its not uncommon to see large numbers of WHITE-THROATED SWIFT and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW soaring near the dam. The juniper along the east side are usually good for a number of passerine species including both GRAY and DUSKY FLYCATCHER, BLACK-THROATED GRAY-WARBLER, and JUNIPER TITMOUSE. Other specie that are reported form here include BUSHTIT, GRAY VIREO, PINYON JAY, and one report of a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER. The area list spans over 100 species and on a late spring day you can have a very productive morning of birding here.
From the intersection of Main and Center Streets in Blanding, take Center Street/U-191 east for 1 block then continue to follow it as it turns north for 4.2 miles across Recapture Dam. After the dam take the first left. At .2 miles you can turn left and follow the road down to the water here. You can also continue straight around the backside of the reservoir on this road.