Department of Environmental Conservation

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Three Mile Bay Wildlife Management Area

huntingtrappingfishingWildlife Watchinghand launchparking

See the recreation icon key

onondaga county location map for three mile bay WMA
  • Location: Oswego County; West Monroe and Constantia
  • Open: Year-round
  • Fee: None
  • Contact: DEC Region 7 (Cortland) 607-753-3095 ext. 247
  • Maps:

Three Mile Bay Wildlife Management Area is 3966 acres and is adjacent to Three Mile Bay on Oneida Lake's north shore. It is situated in southern Oswego County, approximately six miles east of the village of Central Square and two miles from NY Route 49. The WMA is generally low and flat with several ridges or island extending across the interior. Elevations vary from 369 to 439 feet with most of the area not exceeding 30 feet above Oneida Lake.

The muck-peat and acid sand soils have a strong influence on the vegetation. The majority of the area is swamp hardwood with soft maple (silver, red) predominating; upland portions contain mixed hardwoods such as soft maple, white pine, white cedar, ashes, oaks and hickories. Abandoned farm lands on the swamp border have been encroached upon completely by spirea, high bush cranberry, dogwood, aspen, pin-cherry, birch and other pioneer species.

Featured Activities

Hill covered with lush green vegetation at Three Mile Bay WMA
  • Hunting & Trapping (Wildlife Management Unit )
    White-tailed deer, waterfowl and variety of small game species offer ample hunting opportunities (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons).
  • Fishing
    Fishing is permitted. A fishing access site on Phillips Point provides fisherman access to Oneida Lake. Fishing Information for the area, and fishing access maps are available.
  • Wildlife Viewing- Resident wildlife (especially deer and song birds) and fall migrations of waterfowl offer the bird watcher and/or photographer unlimited opportunities for pursing their hobbies. Waterfowl are the primary wildlife species seen on the WMA. Some waterfowl breed in the area, while migrants utilize Oneida Lake and the Three Mile Bay for resting and feeding during the spring and fall.
three mile bay sign

Directions

Exit I-81 at Route 49. Follow Rt. 49 east to Todd Harbor Road. Turn right and parking is on your left. One can also access the WMA by continuing east on t. 49 past Todd Harbor Road and turning right onto Lower Road. Follow Lower Road to West Road and make a sharp right to reach deep into the WMA where there is parking.

The 7½ topographic maps covering the area are Cicero and Mallory.

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations:

Outdoor Safety Tips:

How We Manage Three Mile Bay WMA

deer on wildlife restoration sign

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Three Mile Bay 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 management area are to provide habitat for the use of a variety of wildlife with the primary emphasis on waterfowl species. Techniques involved include practices such as mowing, prescribed burning, construction of nesting structures, preservation and perpetuation of certain habitats and maintaining a diversity of habitat. Timber stand improvement and harvesting timber are conducted to improve the forestry resource and wildlife values.

A special agreement permits the New York State Department of Health to operate a field laboratory for the purpose of conducting its encephalitis investigations.

History

The WMA is considered a wetland, but in the 1920s some of the area was cleared and muck farming was begun. These lands were fared up until the 1930s when they were abandoned. These muck field are now covered with water due to beaver activities.

Initial acreage for Three Mile Bay WMA was acquired in the 1950s from using Pittman Robertson Funds, with additional acreage acquired under the 1962 Recreational Bond Act. The purpose for the original acquisition was for the ultimate development of waterfowl habitat.

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

Oswego County Tourism Office (leaves DEC's website)