Check out the aerial images (and follow them as they are updated) to get a birds-eye view often hidden from below.
If you do not see the images below try clicking on this “Cattails” link, and then access the post from that page.
There are over 40 wetland impoundments on NMWMA. In these restored wetlands, DEC staff raise and lower water levels to produce food and cover for marsh wildlife, including waterfowl, muskrat, mink, rails, bitterns, shorebirds and others. Annual plants are encouraged to grow within the marshes by lowering water levels in the Spring. These plants are abundant seed producers – seeds that are essential food for waterfowl and other marshbirds. Water depths are gradually increased in time for Fall migration. By design, many of our wetlands are inter-connected to facilitate water movement – Storage Pond on Howland Island, for example, is designed to store water to be released into the many connected wetlands downstream. Many others require rainfall to refill and in some cases, we can pump water from one site to another. All of these marshes seem to have their own peculiar water management challenges, and working with them seems, at times, as much art as science. We have provided these images to help you plan your time exploring NMWMA – the dates that the images were taken are listed. Several impoundments (Coot, Guy’s and M&M) are going to be re-watered slowly this migration.
Not all our marshes will be managed for production of annual plants each year. Others will be managed for emergent plant cover (often cattail) and open water areas in about a 50-50 mix. These deeper water sites can be productive for furbearing mammals and secretive marshbirds including rare bitterns and grebes. Still other impoundments will be managed to produce mudflats at those times when shorebird migrations peak.
NMWMA’s managed marshes are also supplemented by floodplain wetlands found along the Seneca River and Crusoe Creek – this outstanding wetland diversity makes Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area a wetland paradise for wildlife.
Update Nov. 10, 2017
We are experiencing flood stage conditions at NMWMA with the Seneca River (Barge Canal) at approximately 378 feet above sea level. Note the abundance of water in the Seneca River, Swift Water Channel and Crusoe Creek and those associated wetland impoundments shown in the aerial images for Nov. 9. To keep up with these changes in River and Canal water depths and the opportunities they present for waterfowl hunting, go to USGS’s water data site and monitor the two gauges near Montezuma (Port Byron and Free Bridge Corners) –https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=04235600. J. Eckler, NYSDEC.