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East Bay Wildlife Management Area


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east bay muskratEast Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of East Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The WMA encompasses 38 acres. It was purchased from Donald and Ann Touch in 1984 with money from the Environmental Bond Act of 1972. The area, known locally as part of Finch Marsh, lies in a narrow river valley among steep sided hills. A scenic; ledge borders the northern portion of the property. The rest of the marsh to the west and northwest are lands owned by the Nature Conservancy. The neighborhood around the marsh is used for agriculture and rural residential purposes.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
East Bay Wildlife Management Area is located in Wildlife Management Unit 5G. Emergent marshes are considered the most valuable of our wetland areas and East Bay Wildlife Management Area is no exception. Here, waterfowl can be found in abundance, using the area for resting during the spring and fall migrations and for rearing young ducklings during the summer months. Hunters can find should look for mallards, black duck, teal, merganser and wood ducks. Trappers will find that the high productive quality of the marsh is such that it produces a high population of muskrats. During the winter months, muskrat houses can easily be seen protruding above the ice and snow. These valuable and prolific furbearers also share their wetland home with beaver, mink and otter. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

East Bay WMA is open to fishing; please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing. East Bay is home to a diverse fisheries community and a popular fishing hot spot in both the summer and winter months. Fisherman can expect to find bass, crappie, walleye, pike, catfish and panfish in relative abundance. Two hand launches are located a short distance from the parking area off of Sciota Road (County Route 10).

Wildlife Viewing
East Bay WMA is an identified Bird Conservation Area (BCA). New York State Bird Conservation Areas are state-owned lands and waters designated to safeguard and enhance populations of birds in New York State. These areas provide important habitats for birds. In spring and summer, many birds rely on these areas for breeding, food, and shelter. Some birds winter at BCA's, while others use BCA's as resting and feeding areas during migration. BCA's are designated as they support one or more of the following: An unusually high diversity of bird species; large concentrations of one or more bird species; endangered, threatened, or rare bird species; or an exceptional or rare bird habitat.
A variety of wildlife can be seen in the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guides.

East Bay Brown Sign


From Whitehall, take US Route 4 east for 1 mile. Turn left onto County Route 9A and proceed 1 mile to end. Turn right onto County Route 9 and proceed ½ mile. Turn left on Stalker Rd. and proceed ½ mile to end. Turn right on Sciota Rd. (County Route 10) and proceed for ¼ mile. The WMA and parking area is on the left - Get Google Map Driving Directions (Leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

east bay uplandsThe following activities are not permitted in East Bay WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Kindling fires
  • 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) Also, practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

east bay hardwoods

How We Manage

wildlife restoration logo

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, East Bay 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.

The majority of the parcel is emergent marsh. Emergent marshes are areas that have approximately six inches of water during the growing season or permanently. The dominant plants are "emergent" species such as cattails, arrowhead, pickerel weed, rush and smartweed to name a few.

The wetland portion of the property has also been designated as a flood hazard zone. Flooding occurs not only during heavy rains and intense spring thaws, but also during periods of prolonged Northerly winds in which the water from Lake Champlain is displaced to the south.

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

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.

DEC Lands and Facilities

Gas, food and supplies, dining, and lodging is available in the nearby community of Whitehall.