Barber Lake is situated in south-central Saskatchewan, near the small town of Wiseton. It is a fairly large lake with irregular water levels, due to its dependence on spring runoff and seasonal rains. It is often dry by the summers end. Depending on water levels, at least 10% of the Barbers Lake area may be composed of mud flats. Many small dams on MacDonald Creek, which flows into Barber Lake, have resulted in numerous small water impoundments. These are used by large concentrations of staging waterfowl. Large tracts of native prairie still remain in this area, due to poor soils that preclude agriculture.
During fall migration, large concentrations of Ross Geese occur at Barber Lake. Up to 15,000 geese have been recorded, which would represent as much as 4.5% of the worlds estimated population. Barbers Lake is also recognized as being regionally important for staging ducks, with 5,000 to 20,000 being observed on a regular basis.
A large number of ducks also use the site as a summer moulting area; 4,106 ducks have been recorded, including 2,852 Canvasbacks, and 111 Lesser Scaup. Adjacent to the lake, large areas of native prairie provide suitable nesting habitat for Ferruginous Hawks and Long-billed Curlews (both designated as nationally vulnerable) along with Upland Sandpipers, Chestnut-collared Longspurs, and other prairie-nesting birds.
Barbers Lake is privately owned. Drought is the main threat facing this area, in part due to the fluctuation in water levels from spring runoff and seasonal rains and in part due to the short-stopping of water in dams. This affects the availability and stability of the habitat for geese and other water birds.IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status