Assateague Island is managed by three official park agencies. Assateague Island National Seashore is cared for and managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Department of Natural Resources. Visitors to the park in Virginia enjoy the beach plus find opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (established in 1943). The beach, wildlife, dunes, wetlands & marsh islands are protected for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment.
In 1962, Assateague Island National Seashore was established for the purpose of protecting Assateague Island in the states of Virginia and Maryland. The National Park Service and Fish & Wildlife Service help protect Assateague Island's splendor. Assateague Island National Seashore is administered to provide for recreational use and enjoyment consistent with the perpetuation and maintenance of the seashore's natural environment. Assateague is vital for resting and feeding migratory shorebirds and other abundant bird species. Over 320 species of birds can be found here. Assateague Island is a priceless seashore ecosystem and a sustainable resource that all visitors can appreciate.
Assateague Island is a great vacation destination within easy reach for many East Coast residents. Sightseeing cruises, kayak tours, crabbing, bird watching, fishing, hunting, biking and other activities continually make this a paradise for visitors that enjoy outdoor recreation. Assateague Island has over 37 miles of beautiful beach. This is considered one of best beaches on the entire East Coast. Search for seashells as you walk the pristine white sands. You can enjoy swimming in the picturesque waves along the Atlantic coastline here or just relax on Assateague's vast unspoiled beaches. The Assateague Lighthouse is on the way to the beach and it is one of the most famous in the nation. You will find nearby amenities at Chincoteague Island and Ocean City such as seafood restaurants and lodging in the form of hotels, cottages, beach houses, campgrounds and bed & breakfasts. Visitor attractions and a relaxing atmosphere make Assateague Island a great destination. Be prepared to have fun, and you may want to visit Assateague again on your next vacation.
Birdwatching along Assateague Island is an amazing experience for many visitors. Experience the islands' wealth of over 300 species of migratory and resident birds.
You will enjoy birdwatching in Virginia at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This is one of America's finest places for birdwatching along the East Coast. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge at Assateague (Chincoteague N.W.R.) is one of the richest birding regions in the U.S. with outstanding year-round birding. Assateague Island now has a healthy bald eagle population also.
Summer is a good time to see large numbers of migrating shore birds, warblers, and other birds invade Assateague. A variety of species are visible along the National Seashore at various times of the year. In the fall, waterfowl arrive in massive numbers. Assateague Island is a vital link in the life cycle of migrating waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway. Visitors to Assateague are fortunate to experience an island that teems with a large variety of waterfowl and other bird life.
Although an abundance of birds are found at Assateague, bird enthusiasts usually find the best opportunities along the Virginia portion of the island, due to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge's freshwater impoundments combine with marshes all along Assateague's shoreline to host a variety of terns, egrets, sandpipers, waterfowl, and more. Making one's way by boat or kayak along Assateague's extensive inland waterway is a thrilling experience for any bird lover. Herons and terns fly out from the edges as you proceed through vast winding narrows where you can also see crabs, fish, oysters and other food sources these birds feed on.
Limited amounts of Assateague are accessible by car, so during recent times, many bird watchers have elected to travel by boat along the inland waters of Assateague. A birdwatching voyage by boat offers visitors the chance to see more of the refuge and it's wildlife which can be found along over 37 miles of Assateague's pristine waterways. Boat excursions in the areas around Chincoteague and Assateague take you to one of America's most unique ecosystems, with an abundance of wildlife, islands, and water as far as the eye can see.
Fishing near Assateague Island
Assateague, Ocean City, and Chincoteague Island are known for some of the best inshore and surf fishing opportunities along the Atlantic Coast when it comes to Sportfishing. Plan a family vacation that includes fishing for Flounder along Assateague's inlets and back bays or surf fishing for Striped Bass, Red drum and other fish from the beaches of Assateague Island. Ocean City is nearby with many jetties and a pier near the inlet by Assateague. Chincoteague Island offers plenty of fishing spots near Assateague's inland shores and is famous for its abundance of game fish.
There are many places and a variety of saltwater fish to choose from. You may wish to target different species of fish as the seasons change and there are several quality fishing guides to choose from around Ocean City and Chincoteague when it comes to pursuing fish along Assateague's back waters. Flounder fishing is usually good from April through October with some of the best months being April / May and September / October. Many popular gamefish concentrate in the waters near Assateague including Croaker, Bluefish, Sea Trout, and other fish. The following pages include helpful information that describe some of the fish you can hopefully catch while on your vacation.