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Watts Flats Wildlife Management Area

Watts Flats Wildlife Management Area Map || Watts Flats Wildlife Management Area Map (PDF, 431 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Size: 1,324 acres

Watts Flats WMA is located approximately eight miles southwest of the city of Jamestown and three miles southeast of the village of Panama in Chautauqua County. The area is primarily made up of wetland habitat.

Large wetlands in Watts Flats WMA
Large wetlands in Watts Flats WMA

Day Use Activities and Recreational Opportunities

  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Nature Study
  • Trapping

A few activities are prohibited: off road vehicular travel (i.e. cars, trucks, snowmobiles, motorcycles and all terrain vehicles), swimming, boating with motors and camping.

Watchable Wildlife

Watchable Wildlife Symbol

Users of the area are likely to encounter a variety of wildlife species owing to the area's diversified habitats. The more common species are beaver, mallards, mink, muskrat, raccoon, wood ducks, black ducks, Canada geese, deer, ruffed grouse, woodcock, herons and bitterns and a variety of song birds.

Game fish common to the East Branch of Little Brokenstraw Creek, which flows through the area, include northern pike, bullhead and sunfish. Bullfrogs are also common and provide a unique hunting opportunity.


The area was purchased in 1979 by the DEC. The area consists of nearly 1000 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh and wetland open water and approximately 250 acres of brush and grassland. The area was acquired to ensure the permanent preservation of this diverse natural wetland.


Current development and management objectives for the area are to provide habitat for a variety of resident and migratory species and to permit compatible wildlife related recreational use. A shallow water impoundment was created to attract waterfowl. An annual system of grassland mowing is done to keep open fields from reverting to brush and trees. These activities are carried out with monies derived mainly from hunting license fees and federal taxes on sporting arms and ammunition.

The primary management objective of this WMA is to maintain quality wetland habitat for waterfowl. Large numbers of waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds have been documented on the area during breeding or migration.

Habitat management activities include wetland and grassland maintenance.

For more information, call or write to:

Region 9 Wildlife Manager
182 East Union Street, Suite 3
Allegany, NY 14706


From Interstate 86: Take Exit 8 head south on Route 394, then west on Route 474 and south on County Route 35