Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Lake Champlain and Valcour Island from Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
The Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area is a 660-acre parcel next to Lake Champlain along U.S. Highway Route 9 in the Town of Peru, Clinton County, New York. Its primary purpose is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation.
For thousands of years, the Ausable River has deposited material where it meets Lake Champlain, creating a fertile delta at the river’s mouth which has been used by humans for centuries. Prior to state ownership, the area was used primarily for agriculture and timber harvesting.
This WMA’a land was acquired from the Peru Development Company in 1950. Now it is managed by the DEC for recreational and scientific purposes, including: natural resources education, wildlife observation and photography, fishing, trapping, hunting, and canoeing. One of the primary aims is to offer nesting and feeding habitat to a variety of waterfowl.
Ausable Marsh WMA consists of 12 ecological communities that range from emergent marsh to floodplain forest. This habitat variety supports diverse fish and wildlife populations. DEC employs various management techniques within some of these different habitats to improve breeding and feeding conditions for many wildlife species.
One of these ecological communities is the marsh headwater stream. This area has populations of brown bullhead and has breeding habitat for northern pike and largemouth bass. The plentiful supply of fish within the marsh and the Ausable River (especially landlocked Atlantic Salmon) lures not only anglers but osprey, a threatened species in New York, to the Ausable Marsh.
To increase the breeding success of the vulnerable osprey, DEC, with help from New York State Electric and Gas, has placed 2 artificial osprey nest platforms in the WMA. As a result, ospreys have successfully bred and raised young at Ausable Marsh.
Fish and Wildlife
Ausable Marsh wildlife habitats range from marsh and sandy dunes to floodplain forest. These habitats support many types of fish and wildlife. Streams, marsh and the Ausable River are breeding grounds for several species of fish and frogs, which attract several mammal species and many types of birds. A variety of turtles can be seen basking on logs in the mid-summer sun.
Management techniques such as the construction of potholes, dikes and islands, as well as ditching and shoreline clearing, have greatly increased the amount of waterfowl nesting and feeding habitat at the site. In addition, wood duck nest boxes have been erected throughout the area. These artificial nest locations mimic the natural, but scarce, tree cavities used by this species of duck.
Wildlife to Watch
Black bear, Great blue heron, Wood duck, Osprey, Bald eagle, Eastern bluebird, Beaver, Muskrat, Snapping turtle
Where to Watch
Accessible trail and Viewing platform
Hunting and Trapping
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area is open to the public throughout the year. Hunting and trapping are allowed in season on the entire area in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations. (See: NY hunting seasons and NY trapping seasons)
There are multiple waters bodies within this WMA, or that can be accessed from, the Ausable Marsh WMA.
Lake Champlain has a variety of fish species. Yellow perch, sunfish, pike, bullhead can all be fished in Dead Creek, trout and salmon in the Ausable River, and bass, bullhead, and catfish in the Little Ausable River.
The following activities are prohibited in Ausable Marsh WMA:
- Using motorized vehicles, including: all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorboats
- Swimming or bathing
- 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
- Storage of personal property
Outdoor Safety Tips
Ticks are active when temperatures are above freezing but especially in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases.
Practice ‘Leave No Trace Principles’ when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.
The Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area has a wheelchair accessible wildlife viewing platform along the Ausable Point Campground Road.
Viewing platform overlooking Ausable Marsh
The viewing platform has its own parking area with one designated parking spot for people with disabilities with parking for two more vehicles. A level board walk extends out into the marsh terminating at the viewing platform. There is a large bench on the platform and room for several wheelchairs.
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area Map
Click to enlarge
From Exit 35 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east on Bear Swamp Road (Route 442). Take Bear Swamp Road about 3 miles to State Route 9. Ausable Marsh WMA can be accessed from several points along Route 9.
- Turn left on State Route 9 north to use the Ausable Point Campground Road which will be on the right in about 0.4 miles.
- Turn right on State Route 9 south to use the Ausable Marsh Access Road which will be on the left in 0.1 mile.
- The Ausable Point Campground boat launch to use Lake Champlain is on the Ausable Point Campground Road
- The boat launch to use Ausable March and Dead Creek is located on The Ausable Point Campground Road at the main parking area just before entering the Campground/Day Use Area through the toll both