Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 5 (Ray Brook): 518-897-1291; Info.R5@dec.ny.gov
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: 518-408-5850 or 911
- Location: Town of Peru, Clinton County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 5G
- Map: View the unit map || View same map in PDF (1.3 MB)
- Interactive Maps: Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
The primary purposes of the Ausable Marsh WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is a 660-acre parcel adjacent to Lake Champlain along U.S. Highway Route 9 in the Town of Peru, Clinton County. The land for this management area was acquired in 1950 from the Peru Development Company. Over thousands of years, water-borne materials have been deposited by the Ausable River at its juncture with Lake Champlain. This has created a fertile delta at the river's mouth which has been utilized by mankind for centuries. Prior to state ownership, the area was used primarily for agriculture and timber harvesting. Today, Ausable Marsh is managed by the DEC for a variety of recreational and scientific purposes, including: natural resources education, wildlife observation and photography, fishing, trapping, hunting, and canoeing. One of the primary objectives is to provide nesting and feeding habitat to a variety of waterfowl.
Hunting and Trapping
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area is located in Wildlife Management Unit 5G. This WMA is open to the public throughout the year. Hunting and trapping are allowed in season on the entire area in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)
Multiple waters bodies are within, or can be accessed from, the Ausable Marsh WMA. Lake Champlain contains a variety of species. Yellow perch, sunfish, pike, bullhead can be fished in Dead Creek, trout and salmon in the Ausable River, and bass, bullhead, and catfish in the Little Ausable River.
General information on watchable wildlife includes tips for viewing wildlife and links to other watchable wildlife locations.
Ausable Marsh has wildlife habitats ranging from marsh and sandy dunes to floodplain forest. These habitats support many types of fish and wildlife. Streams, marsh and the Ausable River are breeding grounds for several species of fish and frogs, which attract several mammal species and many types of birds. A variety of turtles can be seen basking on logs in the mid-summer sun.
Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guides.
Photo credits: Frank Knight
Wildlife to Watch
- Black bear
- Great blue heron
- Wood duck
- Bald eagle
- Eastern bluebird
- Snapping turtle
Where to Watch
- Accessible trail
- Viewing platform
The Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area has a wheelchair accessible wildlife viewing platform along the Ausable Point Campground Road. The viewing platform has it's own parking area with one designated parking spot for people with disabilities with parking for two more vehicles. A level board walk extends out into the marsh terminating at the viewing platform. There is a large bench on the platform and room for several wheelchairs.
Full Listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations
Take Exit 35 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east onto Bear Swamp Road (Route 442) - turn right if coming from the south or turn left if coming from the north. Take Bear Swamp Road approximately 3 miles to State Route 9. Ausable Marsh WMA can be accessed from several points along Route 9.
All Google links leave DEC's website.
- Turn left onto State Route 9 north to use the Ausable Point Campground Road which will be on the right in approximately 0.4 miles. Get Google Map Driving Directions
- Turn right onto State Route 9 south to use the Ausable Marsh Access Road which will be on the left in 0.1 mile. Get Google Map Driving Directions
- The Ausable Point Campground boat launch to access Lake Champlain is on the Ausable Point Campground Road - Get Google Map Driving Directions
- The boat launch to access Ausable March and Dead Creek is located on The Ausable Point Campground Road at the main parking area just before entering the Campground/Day Use Area through the toll both - Get Google Map Driving Directions
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Activity Rules & Regulations
- Hunting Regulations
- Trapping Regulations
- Fishing Regulations
- Public Use of Wildlife Management Areas Regulations
The following activities are not permitted in Ausable Marsh WMA:
- Using motorized vehicles, including:
- all-terrain vehicles
- Swimming or bathing
- Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
- Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs or other property
- Overnight storage of boats
- Cutting, removing or damaging living vegetation
- Construction of permanent blinds or other structures such as tree stands
- Storage of personal property
Outdoor Safety Tips
NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health (leaves DEC Website). Also, practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.
How We Manage
Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Ausable Marsh WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing/photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition and archery equipment.
Management techniques such as the construction of potholes, dikes and islands, as well as ditching and shoreline clearing, have greatly increased the amount of waterfowl nesting and feeding habitat at the site. In addition, wood duck nest boxes have been erected throughout the area. These artificial nest locations mimic the natural, but scarce, tree cavities utilized by this species of duck.
Ausable Marsh WMA consists of 12 ecological communities ranging from emergent marsh to floodplain forest. This variety in habitat allows the area to support diverse fish and wildlife populations. DEC employs various management techniques within some of these different habitats to improve breeding and feeding conditions for numerous wildlife species. One of the ecological communities present is the marsh headwater stream. This area contains populations of brown bullhead and has breeding habitat for northern pike and largemouth bass. The plentiful supply of fish within the marsh and the Ausable River (especially landlocked Atlantic Salmon) has lured not only anglers but osprey, a threatened species in New York, to Ausable Marsh. In an effort to increase the breeding success of this vulnerable bird, DEC, with the assistance of New York State Electric and Gas, has placed 2 artificial osprey nest platforms in the WMA. As a result, ospreys have successfully bred and raised young at Ausable Marsh.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.
Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.
State Lands and Facilities
- Ausable Point Campground
- Wickham Marsh Wildlife Management Area
- Valcour Island Bird Conservation Area
- Lake Champlain Islands Complex
Gas, food and supplies, dining, and lodging are available in the nearby communities of Peru and Plattsburgh.