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Owasco Flats Wildlife Management Area

Owasco Flats WMA Locator Map

huntingtrappingfishingbird watchingparkingicon key

The primary purposes of Owasco Flats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, water quality improvement, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is located south of Owasco Lake and just north of the village of Moravia. It covers 54 acres over three separate parcels, one sandwiched between West Cayuga Street and the Owasco Inlet, and the other two parcels off Rockefeller Road/County Route 61A.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust purchased one 15-acre piece of the property in 2008 through a grant from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, and the land was donated to DEC in 2016. Prior to acquisition, the property contributed runoff to Owasco Lake through soil erosion. A streamside restoration project, undertaken by the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, successfully addressed this issue and enhanced habitat for fish and wildlife. Trees planted as part of this effort have grown tremendously.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 7H & 7J

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

Hunting and trapping are allowed throughout the property. 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.

The property provides fishing access on the Owasco Inlet. Look for brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, brown bullhead, and white sucker.

Owasco Inlet receives a yearly stocking of approximately 2,600 brown trout (8-9") and 20,000 fingerling rainbow trout (3-5"). This is an interesting fishery as there is an opportunity for an angler to catch this year's stocked trout, holdover trout (trout stocked the previous year), wild trout, and lake run fish. Lake run fish are brown or rainbow trout that have spent time in Owasco Lake feeding on baitfish, like alewives, and then return to the inlet to spawn.


bird watching

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

Use both the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.


Owasco Flats WMA is located south of Owasco Lake and just north of the village of Moravia. There is an angler parking area located south of State Route 38 on the west side of the Inlet. There is only roadside parking for the other parcels on Rockefeller Road/County Route 61A.

  • Warner Road angler parking area (42.712521°N, 76.435712°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
  • Rockefeller Road parcels - roadside parking only (42.719089°N, 76.423811°W) Google Maps (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 Owasco Flats 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 Owasco Flats 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).

How We Manage Owasco Flats Wildlife Management Area

Pittman-Robertson logo

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Owasco Flats 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.