Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area-Charles City County
The Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area includes 5,217 acres of woodlands, tidal creeks and marshy guts bordering the Chickahominy River and Morris Creek. The area is managed by the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries primarily for upland wildlife and is a stop on the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail. The Wildlife Area is a popular site for hunting during winter months and for fishing, boating and birding in the spring, summer and fall. Primitive overnight camping is permitted within the Wildlife Area. The area has a number of hiking trails, but they are not maintained. Amenities include a boat launch, fishing pier and firing range. For directions and printable map of the Wildlife Management Area visit www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas/detail.asp?pid=1.
The management area gains its name from the Chickahominy River which forms the area’s eastern boundary. To the south, Morris Creek flows through the area and then along its southern boundary. Other smaller tidal creeks and marshy guts cut into the forests to provide additional wetland diversity. The upland, though mainly wooded with mixed hardwood and pine stands, also features cultivated, mowed and “old field” openings. The area’s 5,217 acres are contiguous although there are some interior, private properties. Nearly level, elevations range from about 25 to 50 feet.
Hunting opportunities on the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area include those for deer, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, doves and waterfowl. Agricultural crops beneficial to wildlife are planted annually. Timber is sold to to create small clearings and mowed trails provide linear openings and create “edge” to further enhance existing habitat. White- tailed deer are abundant. Turkeys use the area extensively, and squirrels are plentiful during most years. Open areas and woodland “edges” sustain fair quail and rabbit populations. Ducks are common and use the beaver ponds as well as tidal waters adjacent to the property. Waterfowl is hunted primarily by floating blind, hunters being allowed access on a first come basis. Stationary blinds are not allowed.
Morris Creek is a good largemouth stream and also provides excellent fishing for crappie and catfish, including channel, blue and white. Many of the smaller tributaries are also productive. The species mentioned above also occur in the Chickahominy River as it passes the management area. Additionally, the river often provides good fishing for striped bass and yellow perch.
The Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area is excellent for observing and photographing wildlife. Visits to the bluffs along the Chickahominy River, or the interior of the property often yield sightings of many upland and wetland plant and animal species, including ospreys and bald eagles. Nearby, a number of restored plantations are located along the James River and easily accessible from state route 5. Also close by are Lake Harrison, the Federal Fish Cultural Station, Williamsburg and the Scotland-Jamestown Ferry.
Parking areas are located along routes 623 and 621 as well as along some of the interior roads. An excellent public boat ramp on Morris Creek gives boating and fishing access to the creek and the Chickahominy and James Rivers. Trails mowed to benefit wildlife also invite hikers. A well developed sighting-in range for rifle and shotgun shooters is a popular feature of this area.
The Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area is most readily approached from state route 5 eight miles east of Charles City Courthouse, at Rustic. Here, take route 623 north. The area may also be approached from U.S. Route 60 at Providence Forge by taking State Highway 155 south; then left onto route 614;, left again on 615 and bear right onto 623. Consult the map for greater detail.
Access Permit Goes Into Effect January 1, 2012
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) will require an Access Permit for visitors to department-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and public fishing lakes effective January 1, 2012, who are age 17 and older, unless they possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing, or trapping license, or a current Virginia boat registration.
Daily or Annual Access Permits for WMAs and department-owned public fishing lakes statewide will be available January 1, 2012 for purchase online, by calling 1-866-721-6911 during business hours, or at any license agent.
Daily Access Permits can be consecutive up to five days. More than that—the cost of six daily permits—would be $24, slightly more than the annual fee. At that point, it makes more sense to purchase an Annual Access Permit.
- Cost for the Daily Access Permit is $4.
- Cost for the Annual Access Permit is $23.
- © 2012 Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries