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Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area

Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area locator map

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Paddler enjoying Fish Creek.
Paddler enjoying Fish Creek.

The primary purposes of Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent management. This WMA is a 4,438-acre tract of land located in southwestern St. Lawrence County, eight miles west of the city of Ogdensburg and one mile south of Black Lake. Fish Creek WMA consists of a 2,046-acre natural wetland which is primarily an emergent marsh whose water level is dependent on the many beaver dams on the Fish Creek drainage. It contains 2,392 acres of upland, most of which is forested. The emergent marsh is mainly cattail, with flooded shrubs interspersed throughout the area. There is a hardwood swamp along the fringe of the emergent marsh. The upland portion contains approximately 1,000 acres of softwood scattered throughout the area, which deer use as wintering areas and 861 acres of young northern hardwoods. There are 93 acres of open grassland maintained for ground nesting birds. There are no developed hiking trails on the area. No special permits are required to use the area.

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 6A

General information on hunting and general information on trapping include how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

The diverse habitat provides a variety of hunting and trapping opportunities. White-tailed deer, turkey, cottontail rabbit, and grouse can be found on the area as well as waterfowl and marsh birds, which are attracted to the large wetland complex. Furbearers include beaver, muskrat, fisher, bobcat, and otter. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).



General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

Two parking areas are located near hand launch sites for small car-top boats, one near the village of Pope Mills and the other near the Macomb/Depeyster town line off of State Route 184. There are numerous obstacles along the Fish Creek drainage, such as beaver dams and cattail mats.



General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Deer, turkeys, whip-poor-wills, waterfowl, marsh birds, raptors, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF, 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF, 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.


wheelchair accessible

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

The car-top boat launch at Fish Creek WMA's southwestern end has an accessible kiosk, parking area, and trail to the water's edge. The trail is suitable for use with mobility devices such as wheelchairs and a level pad has been constructed at the shoreline for hand launching car-top boats such as kayaks and canoes. Please be advised that the water level of Fish Creek fluctuates. This may cause the trail to be level with, higher, or lower than the creek level which may affect accessibility at the water's edge.

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Fish Creek is located approximately 0.2 miles east of Pope Mills (intersection of State Route 58 and State Route 184) on State Route 184 in the town of Macomb in St. Lawrence County. Parking Areas are located at various locations on the edges of the WMA.

All Google links leaves DEC's website.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Fish Creek WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming (no lifeguard on premises)
  • Camping
  • Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs, or 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).

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How We Manage Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Fish Creek WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and 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.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

State Lands and Facilities

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.

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.