Department of Environmental Conservation

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Dexter Marsh Wildlife Management Area

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Dexter Marsh Small Map

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Dexter Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Dexter Marsh WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is strictly a wetland area consisting of lands primarily underwater. This 1350-acre marsh is a popular fish and waterfowl area. Northern pike, bass and panfish are found in the shallow to deep water, and a variety of ducks, black terns, shore birds and marsh waders utilize the sparse cattail marsh which characterizes this Lake Ontario bay.

A Canadian Goose on the water

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping
Dexter Marsh Wildlife Management Area is located in Wildlife Management Unit 6A. The area is very popular with waterfowl hunters. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Spring time bullhead and yellow perch fishing is always popular at the Perch River Fishing Access site, just out of Dexter on the Doane (County Route 59) Road. There is a small dock at Muskellunge Creek Fishing Access site, which is also a busy place during the spring. There is a spacious parking lot at Lloyds Landing shadowed by a large oak tree. There is limited opportunity for shore angling, so a boat is a necessity here. All types of small boats are permitted. The area also offers opportunity for ice fishing, with yellow perch and northern pike being the principal ice angler target.

Wildlife Viewing
Dexter Marsh receives a good amount of public use for bird watching.

  • white-tailed deer
  • waterfowl
  • songbirds
  • black terns
  • shore birds
  • Canada Geese
  • Bald eagles

Accessible Features

access for people with disabilities

The Muskellunge Creek hand launch is accessible to people with disabilities. There is a designated accessible parking spot with a path onto the dock. There is no accessible port-a-john at this location. In the springtime, water is usually deep enough to launch a small boat, kayak or canoe. Lower water levels in summer can limit access to the marsh.

Full Listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations

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Easily accessible from three state boat launching facilities; Perch River off County Route 59, Muskellunge Creek on State Route 180 and Lloyds Landing off Old Military Road.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

Muskellunge Creek accessible hand launch

The following activities are not permitted in Dexter Marsh WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobile
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing (except at designated areas)
  • Camping (except at designated areas)
  • 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, Dexter Marsh 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.

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.