Maryland Marine Properties WMA

An osprey in its nest patrolling the waters of Pocomoke Sound.

The Maryland Marine Properties WMA is a great place to watch boats go by. Recreational craft join fishing, crabbing and other work boats sailing in and out of the adjacent Pocomoke River in southeastern Somerset County. Mostly marshlands with forests, forested wetlands and fields, this 1,130 acre tract supports the unique ecology along the mouth of a great river entering the Chesapeake Bay.

What To See

Osprey nesting on channel marker buoys delight visitors with their fishing skills, plucking fish from the waters of Pocomoke Sound. Vast fields of bright yellow sunflowers, planted as food for wintering doves and songbirds, catch the eye of hikers on the trails.

What To Do

Hikers, all terrain bicyclists and bird-watchers will find hours of diversion as they head down the 1.5 mile trail toward Pocomoke Sound. Deer hunting is excellent as is hunting for cottontail rabbits, mourning doves, bobwhite quail, woodcock and gray squirrels. Limited waterfowl hunting is possible on the marsh. Fur trapping is permitted by a yearly lease. The waters yield plenty of crabs, croaker, sea trout, bluefish and rockfish from the shoreline.

Area Regulations

  • Use of Maryland Marine Properties WMA is generally permitted seven days a week throughout the year.
  • Hunting is allowed in accordance with open seasons and shooting hours, unless otherwise noted.
  • All State and Federal Hunting Laws and Regulations are applicable.
  • Trapping is by permit only.
  • Dove hunting is restricted to certain days and shooting hours.
  • No motorized vehicles are allowed.

Non-hunting Users Guide

  • Non-hunting visitors are welcome.
  • Be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly.
  • Season dates available in newspapers, on the Internet, and at some area stores.
  • Trails are maintained and suitable for hiking, nature photography, birding, hunting, 
    and other recreational activities, but are not actively marked.
  • Visitors to the management area should be aware that there may be biting flies, mosquitoes, 
    and ticks present during April - November.

Site Management Goals

  • The agricultural fields are planted with crops to provide habitat and winter food for upland wildlife species.
  • Several small ponds have been created and are managed to provide habitat for waterfowl, aquatic mammals, and amphibians.
  • Certain fields are managed dove hunting areas.
  • Some fields have been planted to native warm season grasses, cool season grasses and/or been left fallow to provide habitat for ground nesting wildlife species.

Maryland Marine Properties is located in Somerst county on Maryland's eastern shoreDirections

Maryland Marine Properties WMA is located in southeastern Somerset County off of Back Shelltown Road. From U.S. Route 13, take MD 667 west to Back Shelltown Road and Maryland Marine Properties WMA. Marked parking areas are located off Back Shelltown Road. Boat access is available at Shelltown and Rumbly Point public boat ramps. For additional information, contact the Wellington Wildlife Office at (410) 651-2065.​

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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.​