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For Release: Thursday, August 4, 2016

DEC Lifts Restricted Access to Wildlife Management Areas

16-Day Window Gives Public a Peek

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is opening several otherwise restricted Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) to the public in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties starting Saturday, August 13th and continuing through Sunday, August 28, 2016.

During the 16-day period, Perch River WMA in Jefferson County and Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill WMAs in St. Lawrence County, including their wetland restricted and refuge areas, will be open to visitors each day from sunrise to sunset, except for the Perch Lake proper, which opens at noon.

"The restricted wetland areas, and refuge are used by a number of New York State's endangered, threatened and rare species including bald eagles, black terns and northern harriers (marsh hawks), among others, " said Judy Drabicki, Region 6 Director. "By late August, the nesting and brooding season is mostly complete and the fall migration period has not yet begun, enabling DEC to allow public access."

Perch River WMA encompasses 7,800 acres in the towns of Brownville, Orleans and Pamelia. It can be accessed from state Route 12, Allen Rd., Buckminster Road, Vaadi Road and Perch Lake Road. The Perch Lake proper (accessed by Perch Lake Rd.) will be open from noon until sunset each day. Fishing will be allowed but no motorized boats.

Upper & Lower Lakes WMA is located about two miles west of the village of Canton along state Route 68 in St. Lawrence County. This WMA, the largest in the Region, is an 8,770-acre upland/wetland complex between the Grasse and Oswegatchie rivers.

Wilson Hill WMA is located in northern St. Lawrence County, approximately six miles west of the village of Massena off state Route 37. Situated along the St. Lawrence River, the 4,000-acre area consists of several large pools of open water marsh, bordered by a combination of dense cattails, brushy wetlands, forest and upland meadow. Fishing is not allowed in Nichols Pool.

DEC will be conducting habitat and wildlife management projects on the WMA's throughout the Open House period. Please avoid any operating machinery and pay attention to any temporary signage. For additional information, bird lists and maps, contact DECs Regional Wildlife Office at 315-785-2263 or visit the DEC Region 6 Wildlife Management Area web page.

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