Mad Island WMA

Phone: (979) 323-9579
2200 7th Street, 3rd Floor
Bay City, TX 77414

Contact: Lang Alford

Dates Open:

Due to Tropical Storm Nicholas, drawn Special Permit Alligator Management Hunts scheduled for the Mad Island Wildlife Management Area (Unit #729) on September 14-16, 2021 has been canceled.

Open on specific days during early teal season and South Zone waterfowl season. Open during drawn hunts for alligator, feral hog, and white-tailed deer. A reservation is needed for wildlife tours. Contact the Area Manager for specific dates.


The Mad Island WMA was purchased with waterfowl stamp funds in 1987 to preserve coastal wetland habitat for wintering waterfowl. Conservation tours are scheduled during the year for visitors to observe hundreds of bird species along the Texas coast. The 7,200 acres consists of fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline marsh land with sparse brush and flat coastal prairie. Wildlife includes puddle and diver ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, alligators, white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyote, gray fox raccoon, skunk, opossum, armadillo. Many species of wading birds and shore birds as well as many species of neo-tropical migrants can be found on the management area throughout the year. Reptiles and amphibians such as western diamondback rattlesnakes, box turtles, and bullfrogs are commonly found throughout the marshes and prairies of the WMA. Hunting for alligators, feral hogs and waterfowl are permitted through special scheduled hunts.

The Mad Island WMA is representative of the Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes Ecoregion which encompasses approximately 15,000 square miles of Texas. Soils are primarily clays and loams ranging from saline to non-saline. The land is nearly level and poorly drained. Elevation is generally 5 feet or less above mean sea level with a few areas 10 feet or more above sea level. Summers are hot and humid. Rain occurs throughout the year with 60% falling between April and September. Average annual rainfall is 52 inches.


Mad Island WMA is a part of the Central Coast Wetlands Ecosystem Project (CCWEP). The CCWEP's mission is to provide for sound biological conservation of all wildlife resources within the central coast of Texas for the public's common benefit. In prioritized order, the following goals have been established for the CCWEP:

  1. To develop and manage habitats for indigenous and migratory wildlife species with a special emphasis on waterfowl.
  2. To formulate research and management activities on WMAs and private lands and disseminate research results and management information to scientists, land managers, resource agencies, and other interested groups and individuals.
  3. To expand and improve WMA facilities to accommodate intensive research and management activities that will allow complete understanding of coastal ecosystems.
  4. To provide optimal public outreach and recreational opportunity on state-owned lands compatible with the resource.
Please Note
  • No restroom facilities available.
  • Bring your own drinking water.
  • Commercial facilities are available in Bay City and Palacios.
  • No camping or open fires are allowed.
  • Insect repellant is recommended for mosquitoes.
  • Waterproof footwear is advised.