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The Gordon Manuel WMA is a wonderful area to visit in the spring for a variety of activities.[/caption]
By Rich Hoppe, Wildlife Biologist
The Lt. Gordon Manuel Wildlife Management Area encompasses approximately 6,482 acres in the Aroostook County towns of Hodgdon, Cary, and Linneus. The area is actively managed for both wetland and upland wildlife and public recreation is encouraged.
The area formally known as the Hodgdon Deadwater was heavily used by waterfowl in its early years through impounding the waters of the South Branch Meduxenkeag River and 250 acres of upland wildlife habitat that surrounds the marsh. This deadwater increased in the late 1800’s when Mr. John Hodgdon erected a water power dam at Hodgdon Mills. From this first dam until 1952 this area had been a productive haven for all forms of wildlife. In 1950 a barrel mill that was in operation was converted to diesel power and the dam was no longer maintained and washed out between 1953-1955. In 1957 this area was recommended for purchase and development by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. In 1963 a dam was constructed at the site of the original dam and once again this section of the river became a marsh and again productive waterfowl habitat.
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A dam on the south branch of the Meduxnekeag River has created some ideal waterfowl habitat.[/caption]
In addition to hunting, trapping, and fishing, which are the principal activities, snowmobiling, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, ATV (on posted roads only), and cross-country skiing are permitted and encouraged. The area contains roughly ten miles of gravel road suitable for automobile travel and the Town of Hodgdon maintains a small picnic site, and boat launching area on the western side of the dam. IFW maintains a boat launch site off the Horseback Road which provides access to the southern end of the Hodgdon Mill Pond.
: Unless otherwise provided, all Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) are open to the hunting and trapping of all wild birds and animals under the provisions of state and federal laws and regulations.
: The operation of any motor vehicle, within the boundaries of any WMA is prohibited except as provide below:
- On roads not posted as closed or restricted; or on trails designated for their use; or in areas where their use is specifically authorized.
: No motorboats allowed from January 1-June 30. From July 1- December 31motorboats over 6 horsepower prohibited. Swimming
: Swimming on WMA’s is prohibited except at designated locations.
Storage of personal property, cutting of live or dead trees, extraction or removal of sand or gravel, and unauthorized disposal of any material, by-products, or waste are prohibited on WMA’s without written permission of the Regional Wildlife Biologist.
: The area is located just west of Route #1 in Hodgdon Corners and can be accessed off the Wilcox Road, Hodgdon Road, Town Line Road, or Horseback Road.