Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Skenoh Island Wildlife Management Area

Squaw Island WMA locator map

hunttrappingfishbirdhikeparkicon key

The primary purposes of Skenoh Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. Skenoh Island WMA is formerly known as Squaw Island WMA. USGS approved the name change in October 2021. Skenoh is Seneca for 'Peace' and the name is supported by the Seneca Nation, DEC, and various local municipalities.The island is located at the northwest corner of Canandaigua Lake and is only accessible by boat. A sign overlooking Skenoh Island at the end of the Canandaigua City Pier describes the island, at less than a quarter-acre in size, as the smallest State Park in New York.

It has gained some level of notoriety as being one of only a few places worldwide where one can find "water biscuits". These flat, whitish cakes of lime form when the lime falls out of solution in the water and is deposited over small objects such as pebbles or twigs. Skenoh Island, once a popular picnic and day trip destination, has gradually been reduced in size by wave action from two acres to its present one-fifth acre. In recent times, projects have been undertaken to protect its eroding southern shoreline.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Hunting and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 8N

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

The only hunting opportunity that exists on Skenoh Island is waterfowl hunting. NOTE: Migratory game bird hunters are reminded that it is unlawful to discharge a shotgun over water unless there is no person, livestock, house, or public structure situated along the line of discharge within 500 ft. from the point of discharge. 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.

Persons fishing from Skenoh Island may expect to catch fish found in shallow warm water including sunfish, largemouth bass, and pickerel.



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

General information about birding includes information on bird species found in the state, Bird Conservation Areas, bird webcams, and birding organizations. Although a birder on Skenoh Island could very well catch a glimpse of a bald eagle, osprey, or other raptor, the main birds likely to be seen are waterfowl species. Use both the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.


Skenoh Island is located at the northwest corner of Canandaigua Lake and is adjacent to the City of Canandaigua in Ontario County. The only way to access the island itself is by boat. A public boat launch is available at the north end of Canandaigua Lake at Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park, and paddlers may launch directly off Canandaigua City Pier. Both are in close proximity to Skenoh Island.

All Google links leave 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 Skenoh Island 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 Skenoh Island WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • 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 Skenoh Island Wildlife Management Area

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Skenoh Island 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.

Due to its small size and limited accessibility, DEC does not perform any wildlife or recreational management activities on Skenoh Island.

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Northern Finger Lakes Unit Management Plan (PDF). In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Gas, food and supplies, dining, and lodging are available in the nearby community of Canandaigua, NY. Several private campgrounds may be found within 20 miles.

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.