Ellis Bay is a wildlife management area located near the mouth of the Wicomico River in Wicomico County, Maryland. This area was purchased in 1957 by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in order to preserve Chesapeake Bay wetlands, and is still managed by DNR today.
These beautiful 3,000+ acres consists mostly of wet marshland that is an ideal habitat for ducks, geese, wading birds, and also the occasional whitetail deer. The many creeks that wind through the marshland are best accessible by boat where one can observe beautiful heron and egrets stalking their favorite fish or even find barn owls nesting in manmade nesting boxes in order to supplement natural tree cavities that have been lost in the area.
Dominant marsh plants in the area include smooth cordgrass, big cordgrass, salt meadow cordgrass, and American bulrush; while in areas less frequently flooded, Phragmites australis (common reed) are also common (Kearney et al. 1994). In order to keep these invasive phragmites in check from overrunning the entire marsh the Maryland Department of Natural Resources conducts herbicide applications every fall as a control system.
This site is typically managed for hunting and fishing uses, however Ellis Bay can also be used for kayaking, hiking, and even bird watching, not to mention just enjoying the sheer beauty of the wetlands!
Ellis Bay WMA is located in southwestern Wicomico County on Muddy Hole Road if approached by vehicle. Visitation of ellis bay is most easily accessible by boat but can also be accessed by one small road leading to the public, small craft boat ramp. For directions please click here.