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 seated between Seldon Island and
Tenfoot Island (both privately owned) about 2 miles downstream from Whites Ferry. It was purchased in 1970 by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. This 169 acre island is adjacent to 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 Department of Natural Resources. 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.
The Islands of the Potomac WMA is only accessible by water. See Maryland’s Online Water Access Guide for information on boat ramps.
Regulations for All Users
Unless otherwise posted or with a permit issued by the Service it is UNLAWFUL to:
- Operate or possess a vehicle on roads, trails, or waterways not open to general traffic.
- Bait or feed wildlife.
- Use or construct permanent blinds or tree stands. All portable blinds or stands must be removed at the end of the day.
- Ignite, cause to be ignited, or maintain a fire.
- Remove, disturb, damage, or destroy any mineral, plant, rock, tree, or nongame animal.
- Have dogs off leash from April 15 through August 15.
- Use dogs to chase fox and raccoons.
- Release any animal or plant.
- Conduct commercial activities.
- Place a cache for the purpose of geocaching.
- Operate, possess, or use combustibles, explosives, or fireworks.
- Dig for relics and treasures, remove prehistoric or historic artifacts, or use a metal detector without a permit from the Office of Archeology.
- Deposit litter or refuse including, but not limited to, animal carcasses, appliances, brush, debris, furniture, garbage, hazardous material, tires, waste paper, yard waste, or other litter.
- Vandalize real property including any blind, building, crop, equipment, gate, habitat, plant, road, sign, trail, vehicle, vessel, or other public property.
- Graze cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or other domestic animals.
- Place decoys prior to 1 hour before legal shooting hours, leave decoys overnight, or remove decoys later than 1 hour after legal shooting hours.
- Target shoot.
Public hunting on Maddox, Mason, and Oxley Islands is permitted during legal hunting seasons. No permits or reservations are required. Hunting is available for all legal game species in accordance with current hunting laws and regulations established by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
- Hunting is permitted Monday through Saturday. No hunting is allowed on Sundays.
- Permitted hunting devices include all legal devices allowed in Montgomery County.
- Trapping is allowed by permit only. Contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office at 410-356-9272 for more information.
- No public hunting or trapping is allowed on any islands in Montgomery County besides Mason, Oxley, and Maddux.
The Islands of the Potomac WMA is open year-round to non-hunters. No permit or reservation is needed. Be aware of active hunting seasons. The property is open for the following activities:
- Biking on established trails
- Bird Watching
- Nature Photography
- Dogs must be leashed from April 15 through August 15