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Dexter Marsh

A Canadian Goose on the water

Wildlife Management Area Overview

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Situated seven miles west of Watertown, just off Route 180, at the head of the Black River Bay, Dexter Marsh is strictly a wetland area consisting of lands primarily underwater. Easily accessible from three state boat launching facilities; Perch River off Co Rt 59, Muskellunge Creek on State Route 180 and Lloyds Landing off Old Military Road. 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. Canada geese are often seen during their migration. Bald eagles are occasionally seen over the marsh.

What to do at Dexter Marsh

Spring time bullhead and yellow perch fishing is always popular at the Perch River Fishing Access site, just out of Dexter on the Doane (Co. Rt 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.

In addition to angling, the area is very popular with waterfowl hunters, and also receives a good amount of public use for bird watching.

Dexter Marsh is open to the public year round.

Accessible Features

International Symbol of Accessibility
Muskellunge Creek accessible hand launch

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.

Directions: On Route 180, 1 1/4 mile south of Village of Dexter

Full Listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations

Restricted Activities

General restrictions on WMA's can be found in the Title 6, NYCRR, Part 51, Section 51.1 through 51.6 (link leaves DEC website.) The use of snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles is prohibited on the WMA by posted notice.

Facilities and Attractions at Dexter Marsh WMA
Available Not Available
Wetland Upland
Boat Access Hiking Trails*
Parking Lot Nature Trails*
Scenic Vistas Viewing Tower
Birdwatching Picnic Areas
Hunting Restrooms
Fishing Camping
Trapping X-Country Skiing
Endangered Species Snowshoeing
Unusual Plants
Accessible features for people with disabilities

* A nature trail can be used as a hiking trail. In addition to allowing hiking, a nature trail usually has printed information along the trail and often has a printed brochure available.