The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is opening several Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties to the public from Saturday, Aug. 15, through Sunday Aug. 30.
Parts of these wetland restricted areas are normally marked off in order to allow waterfowl and other listed species to breed and raise their young away from the interference of humans.
During this 16-day period, Wildlife Management Areas in the Upper and Lower Lakes and Wilson Hill in St. Lawrence County will be open from sunrise to sunset. The Perch River WMA in Jefferson County will also be open to visitors with the exceptions of the Mossentine parking lot and dike. The Perch Lake proper will also have limited hours, being open from noon to sunset daily. Visitors must keep a safe distance from all construction sites and obey posted signs.
Perch River WMA spans over 8,000 acres in the towns of Brownville, Orleans and Pamelia. You can access Perch River WMA via State Route 12, Allen Rd, Buckminister Road, Vaadi Road, Cook Road, and Perch Lake Road. Open from noon to sunset, Fishing is allowed but no motorized boats.
Upper and Lower Lakes WMA Located two miles west of the village of Canton, on State Route 68 in St. Lawrence County. This is the largest WMA in the region with 8,757-acres of upland/wetland complex between the Grasse and Oswegatchie rivers.
Wilson Hill WMA is in northern St. Lawrence County, about six miles west of the village of Massena off State Route 37. Set alongside the St. Lawrence River, the Wilson Hill WMA consists of 4,000-acres with several large pools of open water marshes, surrounded by a combination of dense cattails, brushy wetlands, forests, and upland meadows. Fishing is not allowed in Nichols Pool.