Directions Head east on Maxton Road from Williams Preserve. Continue along Maxton Road for 5 miles. Shortly after you cross the First Lake River, turn right (east) onto Damit Road. In .5 miles the road ends at a parking area near the river.
Birding Opportunities Once an area created by beavers, now maintained by DNR run dams, the flooding is a vast area of inland wetlands and lakes. From the parking area one can walk to 2 different bridges that cross over the river hear. Pied-Billed Grebe, Wood Duck and Sandhill Cranes are often found here during all times of the year. Winter Wren, Swamp Sparrow, Least Flycatcher and occasionally Yellow-Bellied flycatcher can be heard throughout the woods around the bridges. Often times Osprey can be seen flying overhead. Kayaking upriver through the lakes provides great opportunities to view a number of additional species including Sedge and Marsh Wren, Black Tern, Virginia Rail, Sora and even the possibility of a rare Yellow Rail.
Yellow Rail Photo by: Rick and Nora Bowers
Potagannissing Wildlife Flooding Photo: K. Beyer
Other Exciting Features Once maintained by beaver dams, the Potagannising Wildlife Flooding was maintained by a dam built by the DNR in 1947. This flooding consists of three large inland lakes and vast amounts of wetland habitat. The habitat is vital for many bird, amphibian and reptile species, and is also crucial spawning and rearing habitat for many fish species. The dam built in 1947, unfortunately, blocked fish from being able to enter the flooding area cutting off the important breeding habitat. Through a collaborative effort with the Drummond Island Sportsmans Club a plan was created to build a series of staggered rock ramp structures to allow for fish to swim upstream into the flooding area. The new structure was completed in 2006 and now allows for fish species such as Northern Pike to swim upstream into the important spawning habitat that is found upstream within the flooding. The rock ramp at Potagannising is a great example of how local constitutions and wildlife agencies can work together to maintain and improve wildlife habitat.
“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.” ― Aldo Leopold