Elmer's Island

Notice Regarding Vehicle Restrictions

Access to the east side of Elmer’s Island will be restricted to foot traffic starting on March 21 as active construction continues on the largest coastal restoration project in state history, the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration project. A parking area at the end of the access road will be available for visitors who would like to access the beach to the east by foot. Parking and pedestrian access areas will be marked accordingly. Areas to the west of the access road will remain closed to all visitors while restoration activities continue. Project construction is anticipated to continue through early fall.

To view a map of the area to be closed, click here.

About the Island

Elmer's Island Wildlife Refuge, owned and maintained by the state of Louisiana, is a 230-acre tract of barrier beachfront located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish. It is located directly across Caminada Pass from Grand Isle, LA.

The property, historically known as Goat Island and referred to as Elmer's Island since the 1970s, is well known for the excellent fishing opportunities it has provided over the years for many popular species such as speckled and white trout, flounder, redfish, channel mullet, black drum, croaker, Spanish mackerel and many other species that frequent the State's coastal beaches and passes. It also provides non-consumptive outdoor opportunities to observe wading, shore and seabirds as well as coastal marine life.

Management is provided by LDWF Marine Fisheries Division biologists and technicians stationed on Grand Isle. Additionally, the LDWF Enforcement Division patrols the property to ensure compliance with refuge regulations. 

How to Get There

The public can access Elmer's Island Wildlife Refuge via an access road connecting La Hwy. 1 to the refuge beach area.

In addition, the department has installed concrete mats that extend for 680 feet beyond the existing roadway onto the beach and measure 16 feet in width with a small turning area located at the end. The mats were installed to provide convenient and safer beach travel. 

Boat access to the island is an option for public day-use seven days a week. Those accessing the island via water can do so from 30 minutes before sunrise through 30 minutes after sunset.

Rules & Regulations

LDWF's Enforcement Division will enforce the following regulations, effective Oct. 1, 2009:

  • Use of the refuge will be permitted from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset. This includes any land access routes to the refuge. No person or vehicle shall remain on the refuge or any land access routes during the period from 30 minutes after official sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • No person shall possess any glass bottles, glass drink containers or other glass products.
  • No person shall enter onto or be on the grounds of the refuge during a restricted access period; or alternatively shall do so only in accordance with restrictions set forth by the Secretary.
  • No person shall commercially fish, conduct any guiding service, hunt, pursue, kill, molest or intentionally disturb any type of wildlife on the refuge, except for the legal recreational harvest of living aquatic resources.
  • No person shall be in areas marked as restricted by signs posted by the department.
  • No person shall operate any vehicles in a restricted area. No person shall operate a vehicle in an unsafe or careless manner as to endanger life or property or at any speed in excess of five miles per hour.
  • Non-consumptive users need no permits of any kind for beachcombing, picnicking, swimming, etc. Anyone fishing recreationally will need a fishing license if over the age of 16. 

Protecting Resources

What can you do to help reduce marine litter?

  • Take reusable items and less trash or throw-away containers to the beach.
  • At the beach, be sure to recycle what you can and throw the rest of your trash away. Do not leave anything on the beach when you leave.
  • Pick up debris that others have left.
  • When fishing, take all nets, gear and other materials back onshore.
  • If you smoke, take your butts with you, disposing of them in the trash.
  • When boating, stow and secure all trash on the vessel.
  • Participate in local clean-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Elmer's Island open?

Unless otherwise noted on this page, the island opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset, seven days a week.

Is fishing allowed on Elmer's Island?

Yes, recreational crabbing, fishing and shrimping is allowed.  Fishermen must have all appropriate licenses.  For a list of recreational licenses, fees and to purchase licenses visit www.fishla.org

Are vehicles allowed on Elmer's Island?

No, vehicles are not allowed on the beach at Elmer’s Island, except in an area close to the access road for parking. Access to the east side of Elmer’s Island will be restricted to foot traffic starting on March 21 as construction continues on the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration project.

Is camping allowed on Elmer's Island?

No, camping is not allowed, the island closes to the public 30 minutes after sunset.


For more information, contact Julia Lightner, jlightner@wlf.la.gov or 504-286-4041

Boy crabbing
Boy making sand castle
Concrete mats 1
Concrete mats 2
Family sun soaking
Girl on board
Man fishing in water
Elmers island
Elmers island
Scenic - Elmers Island (birds fly)
Elmers island