Department of Environmental Conservation

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East Bay Wildlife Management Area

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East Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the East Bay WMA are wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This 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. Land sales researched by local real estate appraisers demonstrate a growing recreational and second home market, as indicated by the number of out-of-town buyers.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
East Bay Wildlife Management Area is located in Wildlife Management Unit 5G. Waterfowl entice hunters to East Bay while muskrat and mink attract the interest of trappers. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Beaver kits

Fishing
East Bay WMA is open to fishing; please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing.

Wildlife Viewing
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 as they use the area for resting during the spring and fall migrations and for rearing young ducklings during the summer months. Observers should look for mallards, black duck, teal, merganser, and wood ducks.

The productive quality of the marsh is such that it produces high numbers 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.

Rare species to look for when visiting the site are northern harrier, least bittern, black-crowned night-heron, pied-bill grebe, osprey, and even the peregrine falcon, which nests on nearby Diameter Mountain.

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 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.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

A photo of East Bay Wildlife Management Area

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
  • 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

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, East Bay WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources 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. 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. Observers should look for mallards, black duck, teal, merganser and wood ducks.

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.

The productive quality of the marsh is such that it produces high numbers 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.

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.