Catahoula


Lake Louis

Acreage: 
594 Acres

Larto Lake

Acreage: 
2,094 Acres

National Catahoula Wildlife Management Preserve

Information
Owned: 
Kisatchie National Forest
Acreage: 
36,000 Acres

Sicily Island Hills WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
7,524 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 757-4571

Sicily Island Hills Wildlife Management Area (SIHWMA) is located in northeast Catahoula Parish, 6 miles west of Sicily Island, Louisiana. Major routes to the area are Louisiana highways 8 and 915. A series of unimproved roads and trails provide access to the interior of the area. Boeuf and Ouachita Rivers supply boat access to the western portion of the property. SIHWMA is comprised of approximately 7,524 acres with the majority acquired by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in December 1980. The terrain is extremely rugged with high ridges dropping sharply into the creek bottoms. The elevations range from 35 feet M.S.L. to approximately 245 feet M.S.L. The area is extremely unique and supports a diverse group of plants and animals including rare and endangered species. The forest overstory is a mixture of loblolly-shortleaf pine and upland hardwoods. The property consists of a variety of uneven-aged timber species, with a relatively closed canopy. On ridges, the predominant tree species are loblolly and shortleaf pine. Also present on the ridges are hickory, elm, ash, and a variety of upland oak species. The lower elevations and creek bottoms support stands of beech, magnolia, hickory, sweet gum, black gum, and oak. Important species in the understory are flowering dogwood, arrowwood, rattan, huckleberry, buckeye, greenbriar, blackberry, and grape.
SIHWMA offers many recreational opportunities for the outdoor oriented public. There are two primitive camping areas and three nature trails including a rugged 7-mile long hiking trail. Big Creek Nature Trail winds through stands of mature pine hardwoods and passes many scenic points of interest including several waterfalls. The area supports a substantial turkey population which is hunted by lottery only. A youth lottery turkey hunt is held each year on the weekend prior to the regular turkey season. Deer and squirrel hunting are popular with the public. Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at P.O. Box 1640, Ferriday, LA 71334. Phone (318) 757-4571.

Dewey Wills

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
61,871 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 487-5885

Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Areas is located in the southern portion of LaSalle and Catahoula Parishes in Central Louisiana approximately 20 miles northeast of Alexandria. The area is easily accessible from the large metropolitan areas via Louisiana Highway 28 . The interior contains a network of all-weather roads providing vehicular access.

Dewey Wills Wildlife Management Area is composed of approximately 61,871 acres and is owned by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and is managed to provide wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation.

The area is flat, poorly drained land that is subject to annual overflow. This tract is interlaced with a large number of bayous and lakes.

The forest cover is a mixture of bottomland hardwoods. The major overstory species are overcup oak, bitter pecan, nuttall oak, ash, elm, and willow oak. The understory of the flats or lower elevations is composed mainly of swamp-privet, reproduction of the overstory, and native grasses and forbs. On the higher elevations the understory is composed of deciduous holly, hawthorn, smilax, swamp dogwood, peppervine, rattan vine, dewberry, blackberry, palmetto, and reproduction of the overstory.

The timber was harvested prior to Department ownership, creating an open canopy, and the removal of livestock competition was all that was necessary to stimulate understory production. At present, the forest canopy has closed and browse plants have been reduced. In recent years a very serious combination of conditions known as Oak Decline has developed on the area. As a result large numbers of trees have died. The timber management program, including harvests, has been modified to counteract this threat.

Game species hunted are deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoon, turkey and waterfowl. Each year the area produces trophy sized bucks.  Trapping for furbearers is allowed and the species available include raccoon, nutria, beaver, mink, bobcat, fox and coyotes.

A tremendous variety of non-game bird species are present on the area. Neo-tropical nesters, shorebirds, wading birds, and various raptors are among the birds that can be found on the WMA.

The area affords excellent sport and commercial fishing. Species caught include black bass, white bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill, and other species of sunfish. Commercial species present include buffalo, carp, drum, gar, and catfish.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has constructed and maintains four camping areas, five concrete boat ramps, and three stone covered boat ramps. The camping areas offer primitive camping only.

A nature trail is located on the northern end of the area.

Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1995 Shreveport Highway, Pineville, LA 71360. Phone (318) 487-5885.

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