Category Archives: Points of Interest

points of interest, locations and attractions related to the history of the Lake Champlain Valley

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area



Lake Champlain and Valcour Island from 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.

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area signThis 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.

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area - Bluewing Teal

Bluewing Teal

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.


Wood duck and Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area

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
  • 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

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.

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area viewing platform

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

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


Signal Buoy Island – Lake Champlain Islands

Signal Buoy Island


Signal Buoy Island - Lake Champlain Islands Management Complex (LCIMC)


Signal Buoy Island is less than 1 acre in size. It is the southernmost island of the Lake Champlain Islands Management Complex (LCIMC) – owned and operated by the State of New York.

Signal Buoy Island is located 2.5 miles south of Sheepshead Island in the Town of Ticonderoga, New York. This small island has a Coast Guard signal buoy set in the water (for which it is named) and has no recreational facilities.

Other Articles About Lake Champlain Islands:   List of Lake Champlain's Islands

Land Donation Expands Dead Creek WMA in Addison County, VT 

Land Donation Expands Dead Creek WMA in Addison County, VT

Popular Vermont bid-watching and waterfowl destination to increase by 37 acres



One of Vermont’s premiere wildlife hotspots, the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison has expanded according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. A donation by Dubois Farm Inc of Addison will expand the property by 37 acres, bringing the property up to a total of 2,895 acres.


“We are grateful to the Dubois Farm for donating this land,” said Louis Porter, Vermont’s commissioner of the Fish & Wildlife Department. “Their generosity contributes to a growing legacy of conservation that will last for generations.”


The new parcel hosts rare and ecologically important clay-plain forest. These forests contain oak and hickory trees that attract turkeys, gray squirrels, and deer, making them popular destinations for hunters. Because the forest is next to wetlands, it is particularly important for amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders.
Land Donation Expands Dead Creek WMA in Addison County, VT

“Birdwatchers and hunters have coveted access to this property for many years,” said Porter. “The diversity of bird species found in this forest is incredible for bird enthusiasts. Previous owners closed the land to the public to conduct private turkey hunts. Now, any hunter may now access the land to try their luck at calling in a turkey.”

For almost forty years the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has partnered with The Nature Conservancy in Vermont and local landowners to place a conservation easement on this property after recognizing the forest’s significance to wildlife. That project began a multi-decade partnership between the two organizations that has resulted in many conservation success stories.


Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) are conserved lands throughout the state of Vermont, owned by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. They are managed for fish and wildlife habitat and wildlife-based recreational access. Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area hosts 200 bird species, and is one of the most popular Vermont destinations for bird-watchers and waterfowl hunters.


Vermont has more than 80 state wildlife management areas covering well over 100,000 acres. Management activities on these areas vary by habitat type, but perhaps none are more intensively managed than wetland wildlife management ares. Although wetland areas like the Dead Creek WMA in Addison look often like they do not need any improving, behind the scenes state biologists and volunteers work year-round to make them as attractive and beneficial to wildlife as possible.


Landowners wishing to donate land to be permanently conserved are encouraged to contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Anyone can donate to the department’s land conservation efforts by purchasing a 2017 Vermont Habitat Stamp, available at



Other Lake Champlain Wildlife Articles:

Lake Champlain Wildlife Management Areas

Lake Champlain Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)


What are Wildlife Management Areas?

Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are protected areas set aside for the conservation of fish, birds and other wildlife and for protection of their habitat. Some of the WMAs occupy land that is environmentally sensitive.

WMAs are also set aside for recreational activities involving wildlife and to provide people with opportunities for fish and wildlife-based recreation. WMAs are open to hunting, trapping, fishing, wildlife viewing and other wildlife-related outdoor activities.


How WMAs are Funded

Primarily the management and administration of all WMAs is funded through the sale of hunting and trapping licenses, and from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson) Fund. The Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 places an excise tax on guns, ammunition and archery equipment, of which 10% is returned to the states to fund restoration and management efforts and to acquire land for wildlife habitat and restore and manage the wildlife on that land.

Some Vermont WMAs have also been purchased with assistance from the Vermont Duck Stamp Fund, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited, The North American Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the North American Wetland Conservation Fund. New York State Bond Acts in 1960, 1972 and 1986 have also helped fund the New York WMA system.


Lake Champlain Wildlife Management Areas

New York State offers over 110 Wildlife Management Areas and Vermont has over 80 WMA’s. There are 24 WMA’s along Lake Champlain; they are:

New York WMAs

  • Ausable Marsh
  • East Bay
  • King’s Bay
  • Monty’s Bay
  • Wickham Marsh

Vermont WMAs

  • Black Creek
  • Carmans Marsh
  • Cornwall Swamp
  • Dead Creek
  • East Creek
  • Halfmoon Cove
  • Hubbardton Battlefield
  • Intervale
  • Lemon Fair WMA
  • Little Otter Creel
  • Lower Lamoille River
  • Lower Otter Creek
  • Maquam
  • Mud Creek
  • Rock River
  • Sandbar
  • The Narrows
  • Ward Marsh
  • Whitney-Hospital Creek

Get out and explore some of these wonderful areas that are set aside for your enjoyment.