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Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area

Plantation Island WMA Locator Map

huntingtrappingicon for fishing showing a fish and a hookbird viewing areaparking icon key

Plantation Island River
Plantation Island River.

The primary purposes of the Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is approximately 300 acres of Mohawk River floodplain in the Town of German Flats, Herkimer County. The Mohawk River is the north perimeter of the island, with the NYS Barge Canal defining the south border. Historically, Plantation Island was used for agriculture and canal maintenance. Agricultural activity has long ceased, but portions of the island are still managed by the NYS Thruway Authority for Barge Canal management and upkeep. The island is a mixture of wetlands (open marsh, wet meadow, and small, shallow wetland pools), old pasture and meadow, and floodplain forest. Due to previous significant disturbance, the island has large stands of invasive plant species such as honeysuckle, buckthorn, purple loosestrife, and Phragmites. Since access is limited, the island has little infrastructure.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping

hunting
trapping

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

The island is used for big game hunting and limited small game hunting. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Fishing

icon for fishing showing a fish and a hook

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

Cattails on Plantation Island WMA
Cattails on Plantation Island WMA.

Opportunities exist in both the Mohawk River and the Barge Canal.

Wildlife

bird viewing area

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

The area is available for nature observation and bird watching year round. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Directions

Located east of Mohawk, along state Route 5S in Herkimer County. Travel 3.75 miles on 5S and take a left onto Lock Road. Access is across lock gates at the end of road. Access to the island is limited, with only one dry access across the locks at Barge Canal Lock 18. The island may also be accessed by boat from either the Barge Canal or the Mohawk River (43.015681°N,-74.916325°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions (leaves DEC website).

Plantation Island WMA Brown Sign

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 Plantation Island 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 Plantation Island WMA:

  • 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 Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area

wildlife restoration logo

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Plantation Island 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.

The management plan for the area was written in the 1980s, shortly after the island was purchased by DEC, and will be updated in the future. Currently, the towpath along the canal has been cleared by members of the Herkimer County Conservation Alliance through an Adopt a Natural Resource Agreement, with plans for additional trails marked through the area.

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