Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area
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- Location: Town of Beekmantown, Clinton County
- Dates of Operation: Year-round
- Fee: None
- Contact: DEC Region 5 (Ray Brook) 518-897-1291
- Maps: Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area Map (PDF) (1.5MB) || Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area Map
- Interactive Maps: Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
The primary purposes of the Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The WMA is 318 acres in 2 separate parcels and includes a hardwood swamp at the south end of Montys Bay on the western shore of Lake Champlain, and a section of wetlands and agricultural uplands bordering Riley Brook. These parcels of land were acquired in 1966 with funding provided by the Park and Recreational Land Acquisitional Bond Act of 1960 and the Environmental Bond Act of 1972.
Hunting and Trapping
Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area is located in Wildlife Management Unit 5A. Deer and waterfowl entice hunters to Montys Bay while muskrat and mink attract the interest of trappers. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)
Montys Bay WMA is open to fishing; please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing. Lake Champlain contains a variety of species. The shallow waters of Montys Bay is a popular place to fish for yellow perch, sunfish, largemouth bass, bowfin, northern pike, pickerel, and bullhead. The foot trail from the parking area at the end of Harmony Lane provides access to Lake Champlain for fishing from shore, or ice fishing.
Spectacular seasonal migrations of waterfowl will delight wildlife observers. Spring rains and high lake water from winter's thaw fills troughs and potholes in the area's grain fields. This attracts countless varieties of puddle ducks and other migrating birds. During the fall, the same fields become stop-over places for great flocks of Canada and snow geese as they make their long trek south from northern breeding grounds. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guides.
Take Exit 40 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east onto Spellman Road - turn right if coming from the south or left if coming from the north. Take Spellman Road east 0.5 mile to State Route 9. Turn right onto State Route 9. Take Route 9 south for 0.4 miles to Point Au Roche Road. Turn left onto Point Au Roche Road (County Route 22). Take Point Au Roche Road 1.7 miles east to Lake Shore Road. Turn left onto Lake Shore Road.
- To access the agricultural lands and surrounding forested swamplands: Take Lake Shore Road north for 1.6 miles to a parking area on the left side of the road - Get Google Map Driving Directions (Leaves DEC website)
- To access the shore of Lake Champlain and the silver maple swamp: Take Lake Shore Road north for 0.2 miles and turn right onto Cemetery Road. Take Cemetery Road 1.7 miles to Dickinson Point Road. Take Dickson Point Road north for 1.7 miles to Harmony Lane. Turn left onto Harmony Lane. The parking area is on the left 0.1 mile, just pass the 90° turn in the road. Please note: Harmony Lane is a private road, please do not park on the road - Get Google Map Driving Directions (Leaves DEC website)
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 Montys Bay WMA:
- Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
- all-terrain vehicles
- Swimming or bathing
- 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
- 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, Montys 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.
On the parcel, east of the Lake Shore Road, is a majestic old-growth silver maple-ash swamp. It covers most of the periphery of Point Au Roche swamp, like a horseshoe that grades into shrub swamp and emergent marsh at the south end of Montys Bay. Access the marsh from the western right of way off Harmonly Lane using the parking area. A short 500 yard foot trail will lead you to the mature stand.
As you enter the flood plain you will see massive cottonwoods, oaks, and silver maple, probably one of the oldest stands along Lake Champlain. Make sure to wear water proof foot gear. This old growth forest provides hollow nesting cavities for tree nesting species like wood ducks and songbirds. Hollow trees also provide winter denning areas for the resident raccoon population, squirrels and other furbearers.
On the wildlife management area west of the Lake Shore Road is an active agricultural field. Every fifth year, farmers bid on 110 acres of prime farmland to plant crops needed in the local dairy industry. Lessees are required to observe certain basic requirements or restrictions for good farm practices not in conflict with wildlife management for the Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area plan.
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 State Facilities
- Lake Alice Wildlife Management Area
- Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area
- Point Au Roche State Park (Leaves DEC website)
- Cumberland Bay State Park (Leaves DEC website)
Gas, food and supplies, dining, and lodging are available in the nearby communities of Beekmantown, Plattsburgh, and Chazy.