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Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area

Conesus Island WMA locator map

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Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Conesus Inlet WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA contains over 1,120 acres. The topography of Conesus Inlet consists of a flat valley flood plain with steep sloping hills on the east and west. Vegetation consists primarily of marsh types with a peripheral border of swamp hardwoods, brush, and open land.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
Conesus Inlet WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 8M. Conesus Inlet game includes waterfowl, deer, pheasants, ruffed grouse, squirrels and cottontail rabbits; while muskrat, mink, raccoon, grey and red fox provide most of the trapping opportunities. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Conesus Inlet WMA is open to fishing, please visit Dec's website for more information about fishing. Several parking lots and two scenic overlooks offer excellent access and opportunities to observe wildlife. A fisherman's access parking area at the north end of the area, on Conesus Lake, also offers car-top boat launch access to the lake.

Wildlife Viewing
A nature trail along the western portion provides viewing of wetland and upland habitats and wildlife species. The photographer and bird watcher may enjoy these species and numerous other animals such as shorebirds, amphibians, reptiles, raptors, marshbirds and songbirds. Use both the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF, 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Coneuss Inlet WMA Brown Sign


Conesus Inlet WMA is bounded on the west by West Swamp Road (State Route 256), on the east by East Swamp Road, on the south by Guiltner Road, and on the north by Conesus Lake.

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Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Conesus Inlet WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • 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) 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

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Conesus Inlet 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.

In the late 1960's, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation purchased this land, subsequently initiating wildlife management programs to conserve and protect this vital wetland resource. An additional 83 acres was purchased in 1979 to provide access to Conesus Lake and to preserve critical northern pike spawning habitat. Management objectives are to maintain pike spawning and rearing habitat in the inlet and adjacent wetlands, waterfowl utilization in the marsh, and upland habitat along the edges. The inlet contains the major, if not the only, northern pike spawning grounds on Conesus Lake. Several small ponds and potholes have been created for the wildlife in addition to the development of a major impoundment marsh and other wetland enhancement projects.

In addition to the Habitat Management Plan DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Livingston Unit Management Plan (UMP). The Livingston Unit Management Plan was prepared by a committee of DEC Professionals at the Region 8 DEC office in 2000.

Revision of the UMP is underway. You are encouraged to review the draft UMP and provide comments on the proposed plan. You are invited to attend public information meeting on Feb 15, 2017, at the Dansville High School Cafeteria, 282 Main St. Dansville, NY 14437.

A half-hour presentation on the draft plan will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by a question and answer period. Staff will be available until 8:30 pm to accept comments. The Dansville High School cafeteria is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Linda Vera at (585) 226-5324 for any further specific accommodations by Feb 1, 2017.

It is comprised of three state forests; Canaseraga, Ossian and Sonyea State Forests, and two Wildlife Management Areas; Conesus Inlet and Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Areas. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at

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.