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Cocheco River Wildlife Management Area

Town: Dover

County: Strafford

Acres: 149

Acquisition History:  Cocheco River WMA is made up of seven tracts, not all of them contiguous.  These properties were purchased by the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership and transferred to NH Fish and Game.

Description:  In a largely developed and fragmented landscape, the parcels that make up the Cocheco River WMA protect thousands of feet of shoreland along the tidal portion of the Cocheco River and support a New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau designated exemplary low brackish riverbank marsh natural community.  The upland is primarily hemlock-beech-oak-pine forest with sections of old field habitat and shrublands.

Common Wildlife:   A 2004 ecological inventory documented 66 bird species in the Lower Cocheco River watershed.  The associated tidal wetlands, mudflats and sandbanks are an important feeding and loafing area for many birds including great blue herons, green-backed heron, greater yellowlegs, American black duck, mallard duck, green-winged teal, and wood duck, osprey, and bald eagle. 

The Cocheco River has a diverse and healthy population of returning anadromous fish and is one of the three most productive rivers for river herring of the monitored Great Bay tributaries. The Fish and Game Department identified 17 species using the Cocheco River fish ladder. River herring migrate up the Cocheco to spawn in fresh water via the fish ladder at Cocheco Falls in downtown Dover.

Directions: The primary access point is off of Henry Law Ave across from Tennyson Ave.  Drive up the access road between two residential houses to an orange gate.  There is room for 1-2 vehicles in front of the gate.

DeLorme N.H. Atlas and Gazetteer coordinates: Page 30, E-F 2-3




A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program

Wildlife RestorationThis Wildlife Management Area was funded in part by the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Your purchases of hunting equipment and ammunition make a difference to New Hampshire's wildlife resources and our way of life. Learn more.


Maps Available