Hunting

Marsh Bayou WMA

Acreage

655

Contact

wsmith@wlf.la.gov; 337-491-2575; 1213 North Lakeshore Dr, Lake Charles, LA 70601

Parish

Evangeline

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Acquired from the Farmers Home Administration, Marsh Bayou WMA was primarily used as an agricultural rice farm for many years and is now being converted back to forestland. The WMA is flat and poorly drained. Most of the habitat consists of thick wax myrtle and sweet gum thickets with scattered pines and hardwoods. A small bayou cuts the property in half. LDWF has planted 200 acres of the northeast corner of the property with a variety of hardwood species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Due to its small acreage and thick habitat, Marsh Bayou WMA offers limited rabbit, deer (archery only), and quail hunting opportunities. There is a small game emphasis area on this WMA. See regulations for details.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Marsh Bayou WMA is located approximately 3 miles east of Oakdale, north of Hwy 10. You can only access the area off Cypress Creek Road, 3 miles north of Hwy 10 at the corner of Parish Road 4-20. Parking is limited, and there are no roads within the WMA.

Pomme de Terre WMA

Acreage

6,434

Contact

jhaynes@wlf.la.gov; 337-948-0255; 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570

Parish

Avoyelles

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Pomme de Terre WMA is a bottomland hardwood forest. The terrain is primarily low and flat, but several ridges transect the property, primarily running from east to west. These ridges border and intersect Sutton Lake, a rain dependent wetland that is popular for wintering waterfowl and waterfowl hunters.

The overstory consists mostly of hackberry, locust, elm, ash, maple, and sweetgum. Nuttall and overcup oaks are scattered throughout the WMA. Willow is dominant in the low lying areas, and bald cypress is found toward the ridges. Box elder and sycamore are also common. The understory consists of haws, deciduous holly, dogwood, elderberry, and seedlings of the overstory. Other understory plants include poison ivy, peppervine, greenbrier, and blackberry. Open water and marshy areas, which comprise about 60 percent of the total WMA, contain water hyacinth, duckweed, lotus, cutgrass, and buttonbush.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Popular game species on Pomme de Terre WMA include white-tailed deer, turkey, squirrel, waterfowl, and rabbit. There is a youth deer season and a youth turkey lottery hunt. Wintering waterfowl populations vary annually. Trapping for furbearers is allowed. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: There is a boat launch into Sutton Lake (see map). There is limited recreational fishing on Pomme de Terre WMA; commercial fishing is allowed by permit. See regulations for details.

Camping: There is one primitive camping area.

Other: hiking, photography, birding

Directions

Pomme de Terre WMA is located off LA Hwy 451, 6 miles east of Moreauville. Vehicles can access the WMA by a gravel road at the southwest corner of the property. Interior access by water is limited; however, there are about 8 miles of ATV trails that provide access to the majority of the WMA.

Pass-a-Loutre WMA

Acreage

115,000

Contact

sgranier@wlf.la.gov; 504-284-5264

Parish

Plaquemines

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Pass-a-Loutre WMA is characterized by river channels and their associated banks, natural bayous, and manmade canals which are interspersed with intermediate and freshwater marshes. Hurricane damage and subsidence have contributed to a major demise of vegetated marsh areas and the subsequent the formation of large ponds. LDWF is developing habitat on the WMA primarily by diverting sediment-laden waters into open bay systems (i.e., creating delta crevasses), which promotes delta growth.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Waterfowl and other migratory game bird hunting, rabbit hunting, and archery hunting for deer are permitted on Pass-a-Loutre WMA. There is also a youth deer season. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Fishing is excellent in both fresh and saltwater areas. Common fish species in the interior marsh ponds include bass, bream, catfish, crappie, warmouth, drum, and garfish. Common saltwater species include redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and crabs. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are multiple tent-only campgrounds on this WMA.

Directions

Pass-a-Loutre WMA is located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, approximately 10 miles south of Venice. You can only access this WMA by boat. The nearest public launches are in Venice.

Manchac WMA

Acreage

8,328

Contact

fburks@wlf.la.gov; 985-543-4781; 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr, Hammond, LA 70403

Parish

St. John the Baptist

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Purchased from E.G. Schlieder in 1975, Manchac WMA is characterized by flat, low marshland subject to flooding, especially with easterly winds. Major vegetation was originally bald cypress, but nearly all of this has been logged from the area, leaving an open freshwater marsh. There is a 500-acre shallow, freshwater pond, known as the Prairie, near the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline. Predominant vegetation includes bull tongue, smartweed, alligator weed, and spartina. Submerged aquatic vegetation includes naiads, pondweeds, fanwort, and coontail. There is a strip of cypress tupelo along the Lake Pontchartrain boundary. The canopy is generally open, and the understory consists of black willow, maple, palmetto, baccharis, and assorted grasses. LDWF has installed about 50 wood duck nesting boxes at various locations on the WMA to make up for the lack of mature trees with cavities in them.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most sought after game species on the WMA are waterfowl including scaup, mallard, teal, gadwall, widgeon, shoveler, coot, and rail. The Prairie is one of the better waterfowl areas within the Lake Pontchartrain system. Other game species include snipe and rabbits. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: See regulations for details.

Birding: Birders have spotted both bald eagles and ospreys on Manchac WMA.

Directions

Manchac WMA is located about 17 miles north-northeast of LaPlace. Entrance to the interior of the area is presently limited to various canals. Pirogues and mudboats are the major means of transportation in the Prairie. The headquarters are located on Galva Canal.

Loggy Bayou WMA

Acreage

6,558

Contact

jjohnson@wlf.la.gov; 318-371-3050; 9961 Hwy 80, Minden, LA 71055

Parish

Bossier

Owner/manager

LDWF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Description

Loggy Bayou WMA lies between Loggy and Red Chute Bayous and Lake Bistineau in the Red River Alluvial Valley in northwestern Louisiana. The WMA is one of the few remaining bottomland hardwood areas in northwest Louisiana. The WMA’s terrain is flat with approximately 90 percent of the area subject to annual flooding from backwaters of the Red River.

When it was purchased, the WMA consisted of approximately half overgrazed cattle pasture and half severely overgrazed, poor quality, bottomland forest. Several hundred acres of agricultural fields were planted in the early 1970s and 1980s in preferred oak species. Seedlings planted over two decades ago are now producing quality habitat for a variety of wildlife populations.

Today, dominant tree species are hackberry, ash, elm, honey locust, pecan, and overcup, water, willow and nuttall oak. LDWF plants several hundred acres of the open fields and forested areas in pecan and nuttall, water, and cherrybark oak seedlings. The understory consists of red haws, rattan, trumpet vine, and dewberry. In the field areas, the main understory species are poison ivy, vetch, and fescue along with hardwood and honey locust sprouts. Every year, LDWF fallow disks or plants wildlife openings on approximately 50 acres.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, and waterfowl. Archery hunting for white-tailed deer is the most popular; there is a limited amount of modern and primitive firearm hunting. Pope and Young quality deer are common on the WMA. A 110-acre greentree reservoir and numerous sloughs, beaver ponds, and backwater areas provide good waterfowl hunting. There is a youth dove hunt. Trapping for raccoon, beaver, mink, coyote, and other furbearers is available. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: There is one improved boat ramp on the southern portion of the WMA on Loggy Bayou. Recreational and commercial fishing are available on the WMA. Popular fish in Loggy and Red Chute Bayous include catfish, gar, buffalo, and carp, as well as bass and several species of bream. See regulations for details.

Camping: Overnight camping is allowed on designated camping areas.

Other: birding

Directions

Loggy Bayou WMA is located approximately 20 miles southeast of Bossier City. Access the northern portion of the area off of LA Hwy 154, just east of Lake Bistineau. Access the southern portion from U.S. Hwy 71. LDWF maintains one all-weather road and a series of ATV trails throughout the interior of the area.

Little River WMA

Acreage

6,045

Contact

adailey@wlf.la.gov; 318-487-5885; 1995 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA 71360

Parish

Grant, LaSalle, Rapides

Owner/manager

LDWF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Description

Little River WMA is primarily bottomland hardwoods and often floods from late winter through spring. Common tree species include bitter pecan and overcup and willow oak. There are also several cypress-tupelo sloughs. Swamp privet, water elm, mayhaw, and seedlings of the overstory make up the midstory. Understory species growth varies greatly with elevation. The higher areas within the floodplain support greenbrier, blackberry, and peppervine as well a variety of annual forbs and grasses. Areas of low elevation have very limited understory growth. The upland sites are composed of loblolly pine and stands of mixed pine hardwoods. There is a diversity of tree and understory species in these areas. LDWF manages this WMA with annual prescribed fires to improve wildlife habitat.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Primary game species include squirrel, wood duck, and turkey. There is a youth squirrel season. Deer, rabbit, and woodcock hunting is also available. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: A concrete boat ramp provides access to the river. Good fishing is available on the river and within oxbow lakes. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are two primitive camping areas on Little River WMA. One is accessible year-around; the other is subject to closure during high water periods.

Other: hiking, birding, photography

Directions

You can access Little River WMA via parish roads connecting to U.S. Hwy 165. Improved interior roads provide all-weather access unless the area is flooded. There are marked trails for ATVs.

Lake Ramsey Savannah WMA

Acreage

796

Contact

fburks@wlf.la.gov; 985-543-4781; 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr, Hammond, LA 70403

Parish

St. Tammany

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Recognizing the threatened status of high-quality longleaf pine flatwoods savannahs in Louisiana and the many unique native species the habitat supports, LDWF acquired the Lake Ramsey Savannah property in 1992. In recent years, the Nature Conservancy has purchased additional lands along Lake Ramsey and Horse Branch Roads, enlarging the area under conservation management.

Prescribed fire is critical in the maintenance of his rare habitat. LDWF frequently burns the area to perpetuate the wide variety of ground cover plant species that occurs in the longleaf pine savannah. At least 18 rare plant species have been identified on this WMA, making it one of the most significant savannahs remaining in eastern Louisiana. This unique open longleaf savannah has evolved historically due to the regular use of prescribed fire.

In addition to the longleaf pine savannah, Lake Ramsey Savannah WMA supports other valuable natural plant communities including bayhead forest, small river floodplains forest, and an upland sandy stream (Tchefuncte River).

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Deer (archery only), small game, and waterfowl are available. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: See regulations for details.

Hiking: There is a nature trail on the south end of the WMA. It is a favorite of birders and students.

Other: photography, birding, wildlife viewing, research, education

Directions

Lake Ramsey WMA is located about 7 miles northwest of Covington and is accessible from Lake Ramsey Road west of LA Hwy 25. The area is walk-in-only.

Lake Boeuf WMA

Map: 

Acreage

800

Contact

sgranier@wlf.la.gov; 504-284-5264

Parish

Lafourche

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Freshwater marsh/swamp habitat

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include deer (archery only), small game, and waterfowl. See regulations for details.

Directions

Lake Boeuf WMA is located east of LA Hwy 308, north of Raceland. The WMA is only accessible by boat via Theriot Canal, Foret Canal, or Lake Boeuf.

Ouachita WMA

Effective March 2015, Ouachita Wildlife Management Area acreage has been consolidated within the new boundaries of Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area and will continue to be managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  To view a site description and map of the combined WMAs acreage, go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma/2777 .

Russell Sage WMA

Acreage

38,213

Contact

mmcgee@wlf.la.gov; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203

Parish

Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Caldwell

Owner/manager

LDWF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ouachita Parish School Board

Description

Russell Sage WMA forms one of the largest remaining tracts of the vast bottomland hardwood forests that historically composed the lower Mississippi River floodplain from lower Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. Russell Sage WMA was the very first LDWF-owned WMA. LDWF purchased 15,000 acres of the property in 1960; since then, LDWF has leased and purchased several adjacent tracts. LDWF also consolidated the former Ouachita WMA with Russell Sage WMA in March 2015. In total, LDWF owns 34,018 acres of the property, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns 2,955 acres, and the Ouachita Parish School Board owns 1,240 acres.

Located within the Bayou LaFourche floodplain, Russell Sage WMA is flat, poorly drained, and subject to annual winter and spring flooding. Elevations range from 55 to 63 feet above sea level. Numerous sloughs and shallow bayous meander throughout the property, and there is annual backwater flooding. Abandoned and active mineral exploration and production sites, roadways, pipelines, open water lakes, sloughs, and bayous provide diversity throughout the area.

LDWF has planted approximately 4,000 acres of hardwood seedlings to restore the old Ouachita WMA portion of the area to its condition before it was cleared for farming in the 1960s. The forest canopy contains a mixture of bottomland hardwoods grouped into two major timber types: oak-elm-ash and overcup oak-bitter pecan (water hickory). There are smaller areas of cypress-tupelo, gum, and black willow. Individual tree species include honey locust, cedar and winged elm, sweetgum, sugarberry, green ash, red maple, cottonwood, nutmeg and bitternut hickory, and nuttall, willow, and delta post oak. Common woody understory species include peppervine, deciduous holly, poison ivy, rattan, swamp privet, buttonbush, climbing dogbane, palmetto, greenbrier, dewberry, roughleaf dogwood, trumpet creeper, persimmon, box elder, grape, and hawthorn.

LDWF has developed 13 waterfowl management units totaling 7,770 acres on this WMA. This includes 500 acres of flooded agricultural fields, 4,500 acres of moist soil management units, 2,550 acres of greentree impoundments, and 220 acres of shallow water areas.

The 2,767-acre Kennedy Tract, purchased in 2015, is currently in the planning stages for future management activities; no public activity is allowed in this area at this time.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most popular game species on Russell Sage WMA are white-tailed deer, waterfowl, squirrel, and rabbit. There is a small game emphasis area on this WMA. The areas managed for waterfowl, along with the numerous sloughs and waterways, offer excellent waterfowl hunting. There are youth deer and squirrel seasons and a youth waterfowl lottery hunt. Hunting is also available for dove, raccoon, snipe, and woodcock. There is a dove field, planted annually in brown-top millet, available to area users. See regulations for details.

In addition, there is a physically challenged wheelchair-confined hunting area, deer season, and waterfowl lottery hunt. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Fishing and boating: Recreational fishing for freshwater species including largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish, crawfishing, and frogging are popular with area users. Commercial fishing is also available. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are two primitive camping areas on Russell Sage WMA.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Many neotropical birds and shorebirds visit Russell Sage WMA annually. The area is also home to large numbers of passerine and wading birds. The areas managed for waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds, along with the numerous sloughs and waterways, offer excellent birding. There is a wildlife viewing tower overlooking several waterfowl impoundments in the waterfowl refuge. Russell Sage WMA is also a great location for viewing terrestrial birds and raptors.

Louisiana black bear frequent this area; reported sightings have been increasing.

Hiking: Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking

Directions

Russell Sage WMA is located about 7 miles east of Monroe and 10 miles west of Rayville. You can access the WMA via U.S. Hwy 80 and 165, LA Hwy 15, and I-20. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails on the WMA. There are 12 self-clearing permit stations located at major entrances to the WMA.

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