Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area
Conesus Inlet is a 1,200-acre wetland located at the south end of Conesus Lake in central Livingston County. Vegetation is typical marshland flora surrounded by brush, swamp hardwoods, and some open land. The biggest attraction at this time of year is the springtime migration of spawning northern pike and walleyes as they move upstream from the lake toward the marsh to lay their eggs.
Triggered by an increase in water temperature, northern pike are the first to start making the spawning run about three weeks after the ice on the lake goes out. Walleyes follow a week or two later and for a time, both species share the inlet stream together.
The Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area is a local treasure. From the Department of Environmental Conservation:
"The primary purposes of Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. In the late 1960s, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation purchased this land, subsequently initiating wildlife management programs to conserve and protect this vital wetland resource. An additional 83 acres was purchased in 1979 to provide access to Conesus Lake and to preserve critical northern pike spawning habitat".
In the spring the area comes alive. It hosts a wide variety of wildlife and is a resting place for waterfowl migrations. One of the more noteworthy residents includes a nesting pair of Bald Eagles. It is also home to the annual spring spawning of Northern Pike and Walleye.