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Maple Bend Island Wildlife Management Area

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Maple Bend Island WMA.

The primary purposes of Maple Bend Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The WMA overlooks the great Lake Champlain and is a subset of Lake George Wild Forest.

DEC acquired this unique property in 2012 from the Nature Conservancy (TNC) to keep some of the largest wetlands on Lake Champlain intact. The property features 2,140 feet of undeveloped shoreline and 70 acres of wetland communities that support rare plants and falls within an area that provides critical breeding, staging, and migration habitat for thousands of waterfowl species.

With funding through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's North American Wetland Conservation Act grant program, TNC purchased the property for $500,000 in November 2009. The property was then donated to New York State in May 2012. TNC has previously utilized North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants to protect Mill Bay Marsh and Huckleberry Marsh in the Lake Champlain watershed.

The NAWCA grant application was supported by Washington County and included a commitment by the county to transfer an adjoining 238-acre tract on Maple Bend Island. Both transfers added 439 acres with significant wetlands to public ownership. Protection of wetlands is an important part of mitigating the impacts of climate change by helping maintain the connection between wetlands and riparian (river bank) habitat.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 5G

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 within Maple Bend Island Wildlife Management Area. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Maple Bend Island WMA provides waterfowl hunting opportunities. Lake Champlain is host to several species of ducks and geese during their migration.

Important big game species within the area include the white-tailed deer and black bear. Additional game mammals include coyote, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, short-tailed weasel, bobcat, and snowshoe hare. These species (with the exception of white-tailed deer, black bear, and snowshoe hare) along with fisher, mink, muskrat, beaver, and river otter can also be trapped.



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

Gravel road leading to hand boat launch.

Maple Bend Island is a very productive area of Lake Champlain, frequented by sport species such as northern pike, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and grass pickerel. Yellow perch, white perch, white crappies, pumpkinseed sunfish, brown bullheads and catfish are also common. In the spring, large gar are abundant inshore.

Adirondack/Lake Champlain Fishing provides information on fishing in the Adirondacks and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Lake Champlain and Tributaries Special Fishing Regulations apply.

There is a gravel road to hand launch canoes and motorboats, but trailers are not allowed. The road does flood seasonally, so plan accordingly before heading out.



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

Maple Bend Island provides a unique opportunity to view thousands of waterfowl, as well as marsh birds associated with wetland and riverine habitats. Use both the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.


Maple Bend Island WMA is located approximately one mile east of the town of Clemons along Lake Champlain and is accessible from Lake Road off of HWY 22.

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 Maple Bend Island Wildlife Management Area must follow all Wildlife Management Area Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

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 Maple Bend Island Wildlife Management Area

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Maple Bend Island WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing/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 (three links below leave DEC website):

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.