Franklinton Vlaie Wildlife Management Area
Franklinton Vlaie Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of about 195 acres of open water, wetland and upland habitat in Schoharie County. It was acquired from private landowners in the 1980's and 90's as part of a state-wide program to acquire some of the most productive wetlands in New York. It is located in the Town of Broome, about five miles south of the Village of Middleburgh. The pond and wetlands of Franklinton Vlaie are the headwaters to Catskill Creek. Parking areas providing access can be found along State Route 145 and Gates Hill Road. This parcel of public land affords multiple uses for outdoor recreation including hunting, trapping, canoeing, fishing, birding, and limited hiking.
Habitat / Ecological Communities
The 85 acre Vlaie Pond comprises a large portion of the WMA. It is surrounded by marshes and shrub swamp, comprised of species including buttonbush, cattail, water arum, pickerel weed, and red maple. Surrounding the pond and wetland are second growth maple-beech forests and active agricultural fields.
An assortment of wildlife inhabit the WMA including beaver, muskrat, otter, mink, white-tailed deer, squirrels, and many species of reptiles. Anglers will find a variety of fish species including largemouth bass, yellow perch, chain pickerel, sunfish, brown bullhead, and black crappie. A wide variety of songbirds, marsh birds, and waterfowl use the area at different times of the year. Bald eagles have been known to nest on the shores of the WMA.
The diversity of habitats and wildlife species found at Franklinton Vlaie provides unique opportunities for public use. Many recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, trapping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, wildlife observation, and nature photography are allowed and encouraged. Parking areas have been developed to provide access to the area, and a non-motorized boat launch is located at the south end of the pond.
Management at Franklinton Vlaie is designed to maintain important freshwater wetlands and a diversity of habitat types so many species can exist on the site. Habitat improvements include mowing, trail creation, and the placement of nesting boxes. Apple trees found in upland areas are maintained to provide food for wildlife. Mowing is used annually to maintain fields to enhance habitat for grassland nesting birds. Access to the some portions on the west side is prohibited January to September to protect nesting eagles. These restricted areas are marked with prominent signs.
Rules and Regulations
Public use of this WMA is governed by 6 NYCRR §51 (Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 11-2101).
The following acts are prohibited:
• Use of vessels operated by mechanical power, except electric trolling motors.
• Overnight mooring or storage of boats, canoes and other watercraft.
• Construction of structures, blinds, platforms or stands.
• Swimming or bathing
• Cutting, plucking, severing, damaging or removing trees or other vegetation.
• Camping, littering, damaging or removing gates, fences, signs or other property.
• Use of ATV's, off-road motorcycles, or snowmobiles
All visitors to the WMA must comply with all regulatory signs posted by the Department of Environmental Conservation.