Montys Bay WMA is located on Lake Champlain’s western shore in Beekmantown, New York. This WMA contains two parcels of land acquired in 1966 with funding provided by the Park and Recreational Land Acquisitional Bond Act of 1960 and the Environmental Bond Act of 1972.
Montys Bay WMA totals 318 acres in those two parcels. One piece includes a hardwood swamp at the south end of Montys Bay; the other features wetlands and agricultural uplands bordering Riley Brook.
On the parcel east of the Lake Shore Road, is an old-growth silver maple-ash swamp. It covers most of the edges of Point Au Roche swamp, like a horseshoe that grades into shrub swamp and emergent marsh at the south end of Montys Bay. Access to the marsh is from the western right of way – off Harmony Lane – by using the parking area. A short 500 yard foot trail leads to the stand of trees.
Entering the flood plain you’ll notice massive cottonwoods, oaks, and silver maple; this is probably one of the oldest forest stands along Lake Champlain. This old growth forest provides hollow nesting cavities for tree nesting species like wood ducks and songbirds. Hollow trees used for winter dens by raccoons, squirrels and other animals.
The wildlife management area west of the Lake Shore Road hosts an active agricultural field. Every five years, farmers bid on the rights to the 110 acres of prime farmland to plant crops needed in the local dairy industry. Lessees must observe basic requirements or restrictions for good farm practices that are not in conflict with wildlife management for the Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area plan.
The shallow waters of Montys Bay offer fishing opportunities for yellow perch, sunfish, largemouth bass, bowfin, northern pike, pickerel, and bullhead. The foot trail from the parking area at the end of Harmony Lane provides access to Lake Champlain for fishing from shore, or for ice fishing.
Seasonal migrations of waterfowl delight wildlife observers. Spring rains and high lake water from winter’s thaw fills troughs and potholes in the area’s grain fields attracting many varieties of puddle ducks and other migratory birds. In fall, these fields are stop-overs for flocks of Canada and snow geese as they make their long journey south from their northern breeding grounds.
Montys Bay WMA operates year-round for the primary purposes of wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. New York State DEC Division of Fish and Wildlife manages Montys Bay WMA for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing/photography).
The following activities are not permitted in Montys Bay WMA:
- Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
- all-terrain vehicles
- 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
Ticks are active at temperatures above freezing, but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases.
Also, practice ‘Leave No Trace’ principles when using state land. Enjoy the outdoors responsibly and reduce the impact on the natural resources.
Take Exit 40 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east on Spellman Road; follow Spellman Road east 0.5 mile to State Route 9. Turn right on State Route 9 and take Route 9 south for 0.4 miles to Point Au Roche Road. Turn left on Point Au Roche Road (County Route 22) and follow Point Au Roche Road 1.7 miles east to Lake Shore Road. Turn left on Lake Shore Road.
- To access the agricultural lands and surrounding forested swamplands: Take Lake Shore Road north for 1.6 miles to a parking area on the left side of the road
- To access the shore of Lake Champlain and the silver maple swamp: Take Lake Shore Road north for 0.2 miles and turn right on Cemetery Road. Take Cemetery Road 1.7 miles to Dickinson Point Road, then take Dickson Point Road north for 1.7 miles to Harmony Lane. Turn left on Harmony Lane. The parking area is on the left 0.1 mile, just pass the 90° turn in the road.
Please note: Harmony Lane is a private road, please do not park on the road.
- Sandbar Wildlife Management Area
- The Narrows Wildlife Management Area
- Bird-watching Opportunities at Vermont WMA’s
- Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area
- Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area