Cariboo Nature Park was designated a Class A park in 1965 to protect waterfowl habitat.
This area is in the traditional territory of the Shuswap First Nations, which supported their semi-nomadic lifestyle of sustenance hunting, fishing and food gathering. No archaeological sites are known in the park; however, if you find any such sites, remember, it is illegal to damage them or remove artifacts.
The purpose of Cariboo Nature Park is to provide habitat for waterfowl through protection of the riparian area of Woodfrog Lake. A small dam installed by Ducks Unlimited at the lake’s outflow controls water levels.
The park is situated in the Interior Douglas-fir zone, a relatively dry climate and features Douglas-fir trees with spruce and pines, and an understorey of soopalallie and kinnikinick. Fields of grass dotted with aspen trees surround the wetlands.
Bull thistle is a noxious weed originating in Europe that has invaded Cariboo Nature Park and was encroaching on the native bulrushes and sedges that form important waterfowl habitat. In 1993, BC Parks instigated biological control of the bull thistle by releasing an insect known as the bull thistle seed head fly. This fly lays its eggs in the flower bud of the thistle. As soon as the eggs hatch, the larvae bore down into the base of the flower, which develops into a thick, woody gall. The larvae over winter in the gall, emerging in the spring. The result on the thistle is twofold: the seeds cannot develop, and energy is used in growing the gall, weakening the rest of the plant. As a result, the number of thistles near Woodfrog Lake has been reduced substantially.
Watch for a wide variety of waterfowl, including goldeneye, bufflehead and Canada geese. Ducks Unlimited, in cooperation with BC Parks, placed nest boxes, floating nest islands and an interpretive sign at Woodfrog Lake in 1990.
The park’s ecosystem attracts mule deer that come to feed on the grasses. Some other mammals that may be seen in the area are black bear, coyote, fox, muskrat, marten, hare and squirrels.