Department of Environmental Conservation

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Clay Pond Wildlife Management Area

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Clay Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Great Vly WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This is a 182-acre property in the flat bottomland of ponds, marshes and shrub swamps where the Chautauqua, Cassadaga, and Conewango Valleys converge.

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping
Clay Pond WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 9J. Deer, gamebirds, and a variety of other games species are available for hunting and trapping opportunities. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Wildlife Viewing
Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guide.

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Directions

From Interstate 86, take Exit 14 to Route 62 South. Turn right onto Hartson Road, left onto Stone Road and then take your first right and continue to the WMA.

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

Clay Pond WMA with bare trees.
Clay Pond WMA in early spring

The following activities are not permitted in Clay Pond WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming (no lifeguard on premises) or bathing
  • Camping
  • Kindling fires
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs 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). Also, practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

How We Manage

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Clay Pond WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife 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.

A principal management objectives and techniques for Clay Pond WMA is to provide habitat for a variety of resident and migratory species and to permit compatible wildlife-related recreational use.

History

The area was purchased in 1989 by the DEC with funds from the 1986 Environmental Quality Bond Act. It was acquired to ensure the permanent preservation of this diverse natural wetland. The area consists of nearly 140 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh and wetland open water and approximately 25 acres of brush and grassland.

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.

Nearby State Lands

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.