- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- Location: Town of German Flatts, Herkimer County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 6S
- Map: Plantation Island WMA Map (PDF) || Google Earth || DECinfo Locator
Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area
The primary purposes of Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is approximately 200 acres of Mohawk River floodplain in the Town of German Flatts, Herkimer County. The Mohawk River is the north perimeter of the island, with the NYS Barge Canal defining the south border.
Historically, Plantation Island was used for agriculture and canal maintenance. Agricultural activity has long ceased, but portions of the island are still managed by the NYS Canal Corporation for Barge Canal management and upkeep.
The island is a mixture of wetlands (open marsh, wet meadow, and small, shallow wetland pools), old pasture and meadow, and floodplain forest. Due to previous significant disturbance, the island has large stands of invasive plant species such as honeysuckle, buckthorn, purple loosestrife, and Phragmites. Since access is limited, the island has little infrastructure.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
The area is available for nature observation and bird watching year round. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.
Located east of Mohawk, along state Route 5S in Herkimer County. Travel 3.75 miles on 5S and take a left onto Lock Road. Access is across lock gates at the end of road. Access to the island is limited, with only one dry access across the locks at Barge Canal Lock 18. The island may also be accessed by boat from either the Barge Canal or the Mohawk River (43.015681°N, 74.916325°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions.
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Practice Leave No Trace Principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.
All users of Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area must follow all Wildlife Management Area Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.
Activity Rules & Regulations
- Wildlife Management Area Regulations (PDF) - updated in 2022
- Hunting Regulations
- Trapping Regulations
- Fishing Regulations
Outdoor Safety Tips
NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing, but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health.
How We Manage Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area
Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Plantation Island WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment.
Currently, the towpath along the canal has been cleared by members of the Herkimer County Conservation Alliance through an Adopt a Natural Resource Agreement, with plans for additional trails marked through the area. A management plan for the area was written in the 1980s, shortly after the island was purchased by DEC. An updated Habitat Management Plan for Plantation Island Wildlife Management Area (PDF) was approved in November 2017 and identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities and Other Information
Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.
State Lands and Facilities
Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails, and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.
Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions, and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories, or search the internet for listings.
Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association for information on outdoor guides