Matchedash Bay Provincial Wildlife Area

matchMatchedash Bay is located on the south shore of Georgian Bay almost directly north of the Town of Coldwater, Ontario. This Provincial Wildlife Area contains 1840 hectares of combined wetland and upland habitats characterized by mainly emergent flood plain and freshwater lake margins consisting of dense cattail marsh, coniferous wetland, forest, and fen communities. Matchedash Bay is well known as a staging area for waterfowl and other migratory birds and was recognized as a Ramsar Site – Wetlands of International Significance and Importance – in November 1996. This Class 1 Provincially Significant Wetland has 32 species of mammals, including moose, black bear, and river otter. More than 170 species of birds use the area, as well as 17 species of reptiles. There are more than 568 identified species of plant life and 34 species of fish. Main activities at the site include bird watching, photography, botany, hunting, fishing, trapping, canoeing, and boating.

  Info at-a-glance

Approx Latitude: 44º 46'33.8"N
Approx Longitude: 79º 40'48.8"W

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Open All Year


Provincial and Federal permits required for waterfowl hunting





  Permitted Activities


Matchedash Bay, the North River and Coldwater Rivers offer some of Southern Ontario's best fishing. A motor boat or canoe is vital as shore fishing is very limited. Potential species include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, Pacific salmon (chinooks) rainbow trout, panfish, crappie and walleye.

Canoeing is an excellent way to explore Matchedash Bay plus the North and Coldwater Rivers. Canoes and motor boats are needed to hunt waterfowl on the open bay and adjoining wetlands. A canoe offers a great way to observe wildlife in this area.

Motors are permitted and essential to access the best fishing the area has to offer. There is an access point at the North River Bridge and Lawson Line. Access is also possible via various campgrounds and marinas in the Fesserton and Waubaushene area located near County Road 12/16 and Highway 400.

Waterfowl hunting is excellent, although a boat or canoe is essential. From diving ducks on the main open bay to puddle ducks found along the North and Coldwater Rivers, waterfowlers have a large area available to them. Four inland Ducks Unlimited projects offer the waterfowl hunter easy access. Two smaller projects can be accessed with waders, while the Thiffault Project and Brereton Project require a canoe. We recommend that hunters use a good dog at all locations.

Other hunting that occurs on Matchedash Bay PWA includes turkey, deer and grouse hunting. Check the Ontario Provincial regulations for bag limits and seasons.

A licensed trapper helps control problem wildlife at Matchedash Bay.

All provincial and federal laws and regulations apply to hunting, fishing and trapping at Matchedash Bay. See the current Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary and/or Fishing Ontario: Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary for applicable details.

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