Lemon Fair Wildlife Management Area

Lemon Fair Wildlife Management Area

Bridport, Vermont 05753

Lemon Fair Wildlife Management Area guide and map

Birds of Interest

Turkey and woodcock can be found on the upland portions of the Lemon Fair Wildlife Management Area. Waterfowl are present, especially when the floodplain is seasonally inundated. Breeding ducks in the area include mallards, black and wood ducks, blue-winged teal, and hooded mergansers. Many other species pass through during migration. Great blue and green herons, other wading birds, and shorebirds also use the WMA, particularly when it is flooded.

About this Location

Lemon Fair Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located in Bridport, in central-western Vermont. Presently it consists of 341 acres in 9 parcels. It is owned by the State of Vermont and managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The only access at this time is by canoe or by permission from adjacent landowners.

In the near future, there will be a parking area in the northeastern parcel of the WMA. Look for the WMA sign. Lemon Fair WMA is open to regulated hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Native Americans frequented the low-lying and placid Lemon Fair River. The origin of the name is obscure, but one explanation is that it is an anglicized version of the French “Limon faire,” which means “To make mud.” Another version is that it was called “Le mon faire” or “Let the people be.”

A good portion of the Lemon Fair floodplains was probably originally covered with Champlain Valley clay plain forest, but during European-American settlement, the land was cleared for agriculture. Some of the fields along the stream were once “marsh hayfields” and were harvested communally.

Lemon Fair WMA is one of the newest projects of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. The Department made its first purchase in 2000 from Leo and Cheryll Conner. The Conner’s farm is called Morgan Hill Farm because it was a famous Morgan horse-breeding farm in the mid-19th century. Black Hawk, whose blood runs in many present-day Morgans, was bred here. Black Hawk’s skeleton is on display at the UVM Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge. The Conner farm is presently a dairy operation.

All of the funding to date for this WMA came from the State Waterfowl Funds, generated by the sale of the Vermont Duck Stamp.

The Lemon Fair arises in Orwell and flows north to empty into Otter Creek in Weybridge. It is a mostly low-lying river with floodplains along many reaches. Part of the WMA is forested with mature silver and red maple, and some are grassland, pasture, and old fields. Most of the WMA is in the floodplain. A State-threatened mussel, the giant floater, occurs in the Lemon Fair River.

Content from Lemon Fair Wildlife Management Area guide and map