Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

East Bay Wildlife Management Area

hunttrapfishbirdhikehand boat launchparkicon key

East Bay WMA Locator Map

The primary purposes of East Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are 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

Hiking

hike

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

east bay muskrat

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

Hunting and Trapping

hunt
trap

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.

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 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. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Fishing

fish

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

East Bay is home to a diverse fisheries community and is 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

bird

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

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 BCAs, while others use BCAs as resting and feeding areas during migration. An area can be designated as a BCA if 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 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

East Bay Brown Sign

Directions

From Whitehall, take US Route 4 east for 1 mile. Turn left onto County Route 9A and proceed 1 mile to the end. Turn right onto County Route 9 and proceed ½ mile. Turn left on Stalker Road and proceed ½ mile to the end. Turn right on Sciota Road (County Route 10) and proceed for ¼ mile. The WMA and parking area are on the left (43.573782°N,-73.372717°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions (leaves DEC website).

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 East Bay Wildlife 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

East Bay uplands
East Bay uplands
The following activities are not permitted in East Bay WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Kindling fires
  • 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 East Bay Wildlife Management Area

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, 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.

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.

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 is available in the nearby community of Whitehall.

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.