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Chazy Highlands Wildlife Management Area

huntingtrappingicon for fishing showing a fish and a hookbird viewing areaparkingicon key

The primary purposes of Chazy Highlands Wildlife Management (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is approximately 1,001 acres. The land was acquired from Albert Bailey, Lloyd Bailey and Peter Blahey by the state in several phases under the 1972 and 1986 Environmental Bond Acts for wetland preservation. The WMA includes underwater lands of Upper Chateaugay Lake, a wetland complex at the South Inlet, and some upland forest in the transitional area between the Adirondack Mountains and the St. Lawrence River Valley. Additional Upper Chateaugay Lake wetland parcels were purchased to the south of Chazy Highlands WMA, but since these parcels lie in the Town of Bellmont, Franklin County, they are classified as Forest Preserve and not WMA. The majority of Chazy Highlands WMA is a large wetland consisting of open water channels and low bog vegetation. Humans have used this area for agriculture, timber harvesting, hunting, trapping, and fishing for centuries.

Spingtime at Chazy Highlands WMA
Springtime at Chazy Highlands WMA

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 5C

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

Each fall, trappers harvest the bountiful crop of beavers that consistently dam the tributaries that flow throughout Chazy Highlands WMA, as well as other furbearers such as fisher, coyote, raccoon, muskrat and mink. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Fishing

icon for fishing showing a fish and a hook

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

The South Inlet flows through the WMA and into Upper Chateaugay Lake. The entire area is shallow and weedy and a great place to fish for brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, large bass, smallmouth bass, and northern pike. Several of the tributaries that flow into the South Inlet, including Rocky Brook, Standish Brook, and Middle Kiln Brook, are classified as trout streams. Lake trout, rainbow trout, and land locked salmon have been stocked in Upper Chateaugay Lake by the Bureau of Fisheries. During the winter months the WMA is a productive place for ice-fishing.

Wildlife

bird viewing area

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

Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, 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.

Chazy Highlands Brown Sign

Directions

  • Chazy Highlands WMA is primitive and access is limited. Primary access is by water, at the state boat launch on Upper Chateaugay Lake, located 4 miles north of the WMA off Route 374 (44.77353°N,-73.98013°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions (leaves DEC website)
  • State Forest Preserve borders the WMA to the south and provides free access; however there are no public roads, trails, or parking. A visitor may park along the Wolf Pond Road in Standish near the intersection of the "Gate Road" and hike 1.2 miles down the "Gate Road" and along the old rail road bed to the Forest Preserve boundary line, and continue another 0.5 miles along the blazed and painted boundary line to the WMA, or simply bushwhack from anywhere along the "Gate Road" (44.69121°N,-73.962064°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions (leaves DEC 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 Chazy Highlands 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

Wintertime at Chazy Highlands WMA
Wintertime at Chazy Highlands WMA

The following activities are not permitted in Chazy Highlands WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobile
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • 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).

wildlife restoration logo

How We Manage Chazy Highlands Mountain Wildlife Management Area

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Chazy Highlands Mountain 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.

Chazy Highlands WMA is currently unmanaged and unmaintained. DEC's Bureau of Wildlife recently acquired this parcel of land for improving wildlife habitat and opportunities for wildlife dependent recreation. Future management goals will be determined upon approval of the draft Unit Management Plan. Wildlife habitat management, improving public access, and infrastructure maintenance and repair are important to the mission of the Bureau of Wildlife.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

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

Gas, dining, food, and supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Lyon Mountain and Redford. Lodging is available in the nearby communities of Malone or Plattsburgh.

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.