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Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area

huntingtrappingicon for fishing showing a fish and a hookwatchable wildlifebird viewing areahikingaccess for people with disabilitieshand boat launchparking icon key

Ausable Marsh WMA locator map

The primary purposes of Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are 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, photography, fishing, trapping, hunting, and canoeing. One of the primary objectives is to provide nesting and feeding habitat to a variety of waterfowl.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

a forest with a wet marshy area

Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Hunting and Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 5G

General information on hunting and general information on trapping include how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

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).

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

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, and bullhead can be fished in Dead Creek; trout and salmon in the Ausable River; and bass, bullhead, and catfish in the Little Ausable River.

Watchable Wildlife

watchable wildlife
bird viewing area

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

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 wildlife viewing guides.

View of Ausable Marsh with paddlers
Photo credit: Frank Knight
wood duck
Photo credit: Frank Knight
Wildlife to Watch
Where to Watch
  • Accessible trail
  • Viewing platform
Viewing platform overlooking Ausable Marsh

Accessibility

access for people with disabilities

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

The Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area has a wheelchair accessible wildlife viewing platform along the Ausable Point Campground Road. The viewing platform has its 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.

Ausable Marsh brown sign

Directions

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 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. (44.5728989°N,-73.433197°W) - 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. (44.5751991°N,-73.4429016°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions
  • The Ausable Point Campground boat launch to access Lake Champlain is on the Ausable Point Campground Road (44.57624°N,-73.436379°W) - 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 (44.572643°N,-73.433043°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

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 with other users.

All users of Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Ausable Marsh WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • 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
  • Littering
  • 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).

How We Manage Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area

wildlife restoration logo

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, and 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 WMA. 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

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

Gas, food and supplies, dining, and lodging are available in the nearby communities of Peru and Plattsburgh.

State Lands and Facilities

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.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions, and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories, or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.