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NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

Outdoor Discovery

Perch River Wildlife Management Area
Description: Perch River WMA is renowned for its importance as a spring and fall stopover for an incredible variety of migrating waterfowl and other birds. Perch River runs through the area, which is dominated by wetland and open water habitats but also offers woodland, early succession and grassland habitats.

Wildlife to Watch: Bird species found here include bald eagle, osprey, black tern, trumpeter swan, least bittern and Henslow’s sparrow. In addition to birds, deer, cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels and other small furbearers can be found in upland sections. Mink, muskrats and beavers frequent the impoundments and wetlands.

Special Tips: Birdwatching, canoeing/kayaking (during open house), and hunting, fishing and trapping (by permit). Note: The site lacks accessible features for people with disabilities.

315-785-2263, DEC


Other Activities: There are no public trails. The observation tower and Mosentine overlook along Vaadi Road and the overlook parking area on Allen Road provide good observation points for birdwatchers.

Although public access to the site is limited, the observation tower is open year-round. The entire site is open to the public only during the two-week annual open house in late August; please call for the schedule. Hunting and trapping are allowed in the fall and winter. Trapping requires a permit, and hunters must register with the DEC office. There are no restroom facilities.

Ownership: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation 
Size: 7,862 acres 
Closest Town: Watertown

FishingHuntingSmall Boats

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Mink - Photo by Bill Banaszwrski
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
There is direct access to the site from Rte. 81, 5 miles north of Watertown off State Rte. 12. There is a check station located on Vaadi Rd. just about 0.5 mile off Rte. 12 on the left. Maps and rules and regulations are posted on the check station.

Map Link

Perch River Wildlife Management Area : Wildlife Viewing Area