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Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area

Conesus Island WMA locator map

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The primary purposes of Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are 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 typical marsh species with a peripheral border of swamp hardwoods, brush, and open land.

In the late 1960s, 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.

Featured Activities

Hiking

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

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

Hunting and Trapping

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Wildlife Management Unit: 8M

General information on hunting and general information on trapping include how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

Conesus Inlet game includes waterfowl, white-tailed deer, ring-necked pheasants, ruffed grouse, squirrels, and cottontail rabbits; while muskrat, mink, raccoon, grey fox, and red fox provide most of the trapping opportunities. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Fishing

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

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

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

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

Directions

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.

All Google links leave 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 Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management 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

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).

How We Manage Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area

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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, 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.

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, DEC oversees 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. A revision of the UMP is underway. The UMP 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 and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries, and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at r8.ump@dec.ny.gov.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

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.