Islands of the Potomac WMA

Located on the Potomac River in Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery Counties are 30 islands that have been designated as the Islands of the Potomac WMA. Of these Islands, three are open to public hunting in Montgomery County. These are Oxley Island, Mason Island and Maddox Island.

Maddux Island is located near Poolesville, MD. It is located between Seldon Island and Tenfoot Island (both privately owned) about 2 miles downstream from Whites Ferry. It was purchased in 1970 by the Maryland DNR. This 169 acre island is part of the McKee-Beshers WMA and may also be known as Van Deventer Island.

Oxley Island is located near Dickerson, MD, one mile north of Whites Ferry. It was purchased in 1993 by the Maryland DNR. This island is approximately 30 acres and is just upstream from Mason Island.

Mason Island is also near Dickerson, MD, about one mile north of Whites Ferry. It was purchased by the Maryland DNR in 2015. This island is 275 acres and is just down river from Oxley Island.

Oxley and Mason Islands Map

McKee-Beshers and Maddux Island Map​

Area Regulations for Maddux, Oxley, and Mason Islands

  • Use of these islands is allowed 7 days a week throughout the year.
  • Hunting is allowed in accordance with statewide open season dates, bag limits, and shooting hours, unless otherwise noted.
  • All State, Federal, and Montgomery County Hunting Laws and Regulations are applicable.
  • No permit is required to access these islands.
  • Trapping is by permit only.
  • No motorized vehicles are allowed. 
  • Access is by boat only.

Non-Hunting Users (all Islands of the Potomac WMA)

  • No roads or trails are maintained on these islands. 
  • No hunting or trapping is allowed on any islands besides Mason, Oxley, and Maddux.
  • The islands are open for hiking, nature photography, bird watching, or fishing.
  • Camping and camp fires are not allowed. 
  • Visitors should be aware of biting insects, mosquitoes, and ticks.

Boat Access

Click here for information on public boat ramps.


This area is a part of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources public land system and is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The primary mission of the WMA system is to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats as well as to provide public recreational use of the State’s wildlife resources.

Eighty-five percent of the funding for Maryland's state wildlife programs comes from hunting license fees and a federal excise tax on sport hunting devices and ammunition. The federal aid funds are derived from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (or Pittman-Robertson) Fund, which sportsmen and women have been contributing to since 1937. Each state receives a share of the funds, which is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; these funds are used for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs, including the management of the WMA system.

Other sources of funds for land acquisition include Program Open Space Funding for Maryland's State and local parks and conservation areas, provided through The Department of Natural Resources' Program Open Space. Established in 1969, Program Open Space symbolizes Maryland's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.​