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Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area

huntingfishingtrappinghikingpaddlinghand boat launchbird observation

general location of deer creek marsh wma
  • Location: Oswego County; Town of Richland
  • Open: Year-round
  • Fee: None
  • Contact: DEC Region 7 (Cortland) 607-753-3095, ext. 247
  • Maps:
View at Deer Creek Marsh WMA

Located in the northwest corner of Oswego County along the shore of Lake Ontario, Deer Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) totals 1,771 acres in size. Deer Creek Marsh WMA is a combination of wetland types that include open cattails and a bog. The prominent feature is an extensive barrier beach and sand dune system that separates and protects the marshland from the ravages of Lake Ontario. The water elevation in the marsh is determined to a large extent by the level of Lake Ontario and whether the outlet of Deer Creek is plugged by sand or open to flow into Lake Ontario.

Featured Activities

  • Hunting & Trapping (Wildlife Management Unit 6G)
    White-tailed deer, waterfowl and a variety of small game species offer ample hunting and trapping opportunities (View hunting seasons & trapping seasons). A seasonal permit is required for the entire waterfowl hunting season. A trapping permit is required; these are issued in limited numbers. For more information on how to get a permit, contact the regional wildlife office.
  • Fishing
    Fishing is permitted except from October 1 through December 31. Key species in the area include: largemouth bass, northern pike, bullheads, sunfish and yellow perch. Fishing information for the area and fishing access maps are available.
  • Wildlife Viewing- Wildlife associated with wetlands dominate this area, as well as of migratory birds that visit during their spring and fall migrations.
  • Hiking/Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing
    There is a trail of about one mile along the western side of the WMA that borders Lake Ontario. Along the trail there is a kiosk and a boardwalk from which one can observe the shore.
  • Paddling
    A hand boat launch site offers access to paddle through the meandering Deer Creek for approximately two miles before leading to the Lake Ontario shoreline. Get Google Driving Directions to boat launch parking (leaves the DEC website).


Brown and yellow signs that desingate DEC state lands
Look for the brown and yellow signs
that identifies Wildlife Management Areas

South Rainbow Shores Road
Richland, NY

Deer Creek Marsh can be reached by taking the Pulaski exit off of Rte. 81 and proceeding west on Rte 13. Turn right (North) at the intersection of Rte. 13 and State Rte. 3 at Port Ontario about three miles west of Pulaski. Proceed north on Rte 3, and Deer Creek Marsh WMA will be on your left, accessible by Kelly Drive and Rainbow Shores Road.

Google Driving Directions to Parking off Rainbow Shores Road (leaves the DEC website)

For additional parking locations, view the Deer Creek Wildlife Management Area Map (PDF) (166 KB)

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations:

Outdoor Safety Tips:

How We Manage Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Wildlife Restoration logo

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Deer Creek 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.

Current objectives for the area are to provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species and to permit wildlife related recreational uses compatible with wildlife. Special emphasis is placed on the protection of the fragile barrier beach environment. Interpretive signs and the presence of dune stewards to speak with people using the area are the main focus of public education.

Nearby State Lands to Visit

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

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  • Contact for this Page
  • Bureau of Wildlife
    Region 7
    1285 Fisher AVenue
    Cortland, NY 13045
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