Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area
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- Location: Town of Champlain in Clinton County on the western shore of the northernmost reach of Lake Champlain
- Dates of Operation: Year-round
- Fee: None
- Contact: DEC Region 5 (Ray Brook) 518-897-1291
- Maps: Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area Map (PDF, 2.8 MB) || Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area Map
- Interactive Maps: Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Kings Bay WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is 683 acres in size. The land was acquired by the state in the 1960's, primarily for waterfowl habitat enhancement. Formerly an agricultural area where hay, small grains, and firewood were harvested, the Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area is now comprised of hardwood swamp, cattail marsh and reverted cattle pasture. Because of its agricultural history, the area provided an ideal base to practice wildlife management.
Hunting and Trapping
Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area is located in Wildlife Management Unit 5A. The Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area is open year-round for hunting, fishing, hiking, trapping and other forms of wildlife enjoyment in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations. Waterfowl entice hunters to Kings Bay while muskrat and mink attract the interest of trappers. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)
All fishing access is to Lake Champlain where anglers will find bass, yellow perch, sunfish, pike, pickerel, bullhead, catfish, bowfin, gar, and walleye. Several car-top boat launches are located throughout the WMA, and large motor boats may be launched at the Great Chazy River Boat Launch off Lake Shore Drive. During the winter months the gate barring the access road to Catfish Bay is opened for ice-fishing. All terrain vehicles and snowmobiles are allowed to travel the road to accommodate the placing and removal of ice shanties by the public.
Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. 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.
Take Exit 42 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east on State Route 11 - turn right if coming from the south or turn left if coming from the north. Take State Route 11 approximately 5 miles to State Route 9B in the Village of Rouses Point. Turn right onto State Route 9B (Lake Street) south. There are a number of parking areas that can be accessed off of State Route 9B.
All Google links leave DEC's website.
- Take State Route 9B south 0.6 mile and turn left onto Stony Point Road. A parking area is on the left near the intersection of 9B and Stony Point Road. Continue down Stony Point Road 0.5 mile to another parking area. A car top boat launch is located here - Get Google Map Driving Directions
- Take State Route 9B south 1.5 miles and turn left onto Carney Road. A small parking area is on the left - Get Google Map Driving Directions
- Take State Route 9B south 1.8 miles and turn left onto dirt road directly across from Leggett Road. The parking area is at the end of the 0.1 mile long dirt road - Get Google Map Driving Directions
- Take State Route 9B south 2.1 miles and turn left onto Point Au Fer Road. Travel 0.6 miles and turn left onto a short dirt road. The parking area is just a short distance down the road. The gate on this road is open during the winter months for snowmobiling and for motor vehicles access to Lake Champlain for ice fishing - 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 Kings Bay WMA:
- Unless specifically stated, 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 (Leaves DEC website) principles 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, Kings 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.
Techniques which have improved the area for waterfowl and other wildlife include the construction of potholes and ditches which create open water in otherwise dense vegetation. 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. This management has been funded through federal taxes on sporting arms and ammunition.
The DEC's natural heritage program has identified rare and species of special concern that utilize Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area. One of these is the black tern. Black terns are unique among other species of terns found in New York, since they nest in inland fresh water marshes. The nests are found in areas where there is a mix of emergent plants and open water. This species uses muskrat feeding platforms and areas where dead emergent vegetation has become lodged on a substrate for nesting sites. Black tern numbers have declined statewide and the species is currently listed as endangered.
A common sight at Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area is the great blue heron. This bird has clearly recovered from the killing and habitat loss which reduced its numbers at the turn of the century. It is a widespread species which breeds throughout the state with the exception of the coastal lowlands of Long Island where it is now only a nonbreeding summer resident. The heron eats fishes, insects, crustaceans, amphibians and small mammals like mice and shrews. It can often be seen foraging in shallow water and along the edge of wet meadows.
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 communities of Rouses Point, Chazy, and Plattsburgh.