The Division of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with the US
Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks
Unlimited and the New
Jersey Waterfowlers Association, has developed a Special Use Area
for youth waterfowl hunters. The Wading River Special Use Area is an
86-acre parcel containing two impoundments within the 159-acre Wading
River Wildlife Management Area, located in Bass River Township, Burlington
County. Use of a blind is by registration
The DFW designated the Wading River Special Use Area as an area
dedicated to youth waterfowling in order to help preserve the rich
heritage of waterfowling in our state. The DFW is proud to partner
on the project with the DU, NJWA and the USFWS that have a longstanding
commitment to waterfowl conservation in our state.
The Wading River Special Use Area, formerly known as the Petrecca
property, was donated to the Division by Charles Petrecca and Mary
H. Petrecca. Work to control the extensive phragmites on the site
was initiated in 2005 with funding provided by the US Fish and Wildlife
Service and Ducks Unlimited. The initial work was completed in early
2007 but the project remains ongoing. Water levels will be managed
primarily for waterfowl but also for shorebirds and wading birds during
the appropriate seasons.
Ducks Unlimited and the New Jersey Waterfowler's Association built
and donated five blinds that have been placed on the impoundments.
The Ducks Unlimited state chapter and NJ Waterfowlers are both providing
experienced waterfowl hunters as mentors for youth hunters that want
to be introduced to the sport or learn more about proper waterfowling
The Wading River Special Use Area was first opened to licensed youth
hunters for waterfowl hunting during the 2005-2006 hunting season.
The first youth groups hunted the property on the Southern Zone Youth
Waterfowl Hunting Days on November 11 and 12, 2005. The blinds have
since been available for reservation through an application process.
The Waterfowl Hunting Area:
Access to the property is through a locked gate to a compacted gravel
lot. From here compacted gravel roads provide access to waterfowl
hunting blinds designed to accommodate four people each. All vehicles
must park in the lot after hunters and gear have been transported
to their respective hunting areas.
Members from Ducks Unlimited and New Jersey Waterfowler's Association
will provide hunting mentors to assist with the hunts. A mentor will
be assigned to each hunting party. Mentors will assist with decoy
placement and waterfowl retrieval, which can be challenging since
all of the waterfowl hunting areas are not wadeable.
Hunt Area Rules:
Hunters that violate the conditions established for use of the Special
Use Area will be subject to possible fines and denial of future requests
to use the area.
- Only properly licensed youth hunters (until the end of the year
they turn 16) are permitted to hunt on the property.
- Only youth hunters are allowed to hunt. Mentors and observers
are there to provide assistance to the hunters.
- A shell limit of one box of 25 nontoxic shot shells per hunter
per morning session is permitted.
- All hunters using the area must be registered utilizing the online
application on this site. Registration will only allow for two hunters
per blind accompanied by a maximum of two non-shooting adults (21
years of age or older).
- All waterfowl hunters must conclude their hunt by noon and be
back in the parking area by 1:00pm.
- All regulations concerning waterfowl hunting, including bag limits
must be followed. These regulations can be found each year in the
NJ Fish and Wildlife Digest
and the NJ Migratory
Bird Regulation Supplement.
Use of this area will be by registration only using the online form
(available in the fall). Hunters should choose one day from the list
of available hunt dates and must submit their registration request
at least two weeks prior to the preferred date to be guaranteed an
opportunity to be considered for that date. Open slots not requested
prior to the two week pre-registration date will remain available
on a first-come first-served basis.
Applicants will be notified by e-mail confirmation two weeks prior
to the date requested. Preference will be given to those who have
not hunted the area previously (in the current season). Upon selection,
hunters will be provided with a map of the area showing blind locations
and designation. Contact information for their assigned mentor will
also be provided.
In the event that an available date is not applied for this date
will remain open and will be available on a first come first serve
basis through the application process.
Map of Wading
River WMA Special Use Area (pdf, 365kb)
with questions or for information.