Deer in Spring Landscape

Blue heron taking flight from one of the islands.Sinepuxent Bay WMA

In the 1930's dredge spoils from the Chesapeake Bay created 29 islands from Coffin's Point to Tingle's Island. Because of erosion, only four of the thirteen islands designated for wildlife protection in 1964 remain. Heron and Skimmer Islands, located north of the U.S. Route 50 Bridge, were added to this the Sinepuxent Bay WMA in 1993. These islands, totaling 25 acres, are a mixture of marsh and tidal mud flats located in eastern Worcester County.

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What To See

Sinepuxent Bay WMA serves as breeding habitat for birds which nest together in large colonies. Royal terns and black skimmers are among the "Colonial nesting" waterbirds on the islands. Ducks and herons nest on those islands with grasses or small trees. Since 1987, one of these islands is home for a colony of nesting Brown pelicans.

What To Do

Bird-watching is the primary attraction. The islands can be reached only by boat. Weather conditions in the Coastal Bays can change rapidly and visitors are reminded to use proper boating safety to access the WMA. In the fall, hunters will find ducks, snow geese, Atlantic brant and Canada geese. Fishing is excellent for flounder, sea trout, croaker, spot and bluefish.

Area Regulations

  • Use of Sinepuxent Bay WMA is generally permitted seven days a week throughout the year.
  • Hunting is allowed in accordance with open seasons and shooting hours, unless otherwise noted.
  • All State and Federal Hunting Laws and Regulations are applicable.
  • Trapping is by permit only.
  • No motorized vehicles are allowed.
  • Special Areas

  • Some of the islands are closed in the summer months to allow breeding waterbirds to nest safely. Please observe regulatory buoys and signs that designate these areas as "off limits.
  • Non-hunting Users Guide

  • Non-hunting visitors are welcome.
  • Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.
  • Season dates available in newspapers, on the Internet, and at some area stores.
  • Bird watching is the primary attraction of this area.
  • Visitors to the management area should be aware that there may be biting flies, mosquitoes,
    and ticks present during April - November.
  • Site Management Goals

  • Tidal marsh habitat conditions on the WMA limit management practices that can be implemented.
  • Vegetation control has been used to maximize nesting habitat for shorebirds and colonial nesting waterbirds.
  • Sinepuxent Bay WMA is located on the eastern edge of Worcester county on Maryland's eastern shoreDirections

    Numerous public ramps in and around Ocean City provide easy access to Heron and Skimmer Islands. To reach the four islands south of Rte. 50 take MD 611 south to South Point Road and the boat ramp. For additional information, contact the Wellington Wildlife Office at (410) 543-8223.

    This area is a part of Marylandís Department of Natural Resources public land system and is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The primary mission of the WMA system is to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats as well as to provide public recreational use of the Stateís wildlife resources.

    Eighty-five percent of the funding for Maryland's state wildlife programs comes from hunting license fees and a federal excise tax on sport hunting devices and ammunition. The federal aid funds are derived from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (or Pittman-Robertson) Fund, which sportsmen and women have been contributing to since 1937. Each state receives a share of the funds, which is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; these funds are used for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs, including the management of the WMA system.

    Other sources of funds for land acquisition include Program Open Space Funding for Maryland's State and local parks and conservation areas, provided through The Department of Natural Resources' Program Open Space. Established in 1969, Program Open Space symbolizes Maryland's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.