Maurepas Swamp WMA

Benchmark Water Level-Deer Closure Link

Acreage

124,567

Contact

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

Parish

Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James, Tangipahoa

Owner/manager

LDWF

Description

Maurepas Swamp WMA is mostly flooded cypress tupelo swamp. Water levels in this area are influenced by rain, wind, and tides. Heavy rains accompanied with east winds can cause extensive flooding in the area for days at a time. Other vegetation found on the WMA includes bulltongue, cattail, submerged aquatics, red maple, American elm, sugarberry, and nuttall, water, and obtusa oak. Invasive species include water hyacinth, Bidens sp. “fourchette”, and an aquatic fern known as common salvinia. The presence of this invasive vegetation has made much of the area unsuitable for the large numbers of waterfowl that historically overwintered in this vast swamp.

Future plans for the WMA include cooperative freshwater reintroduction projects designed to revive the swamp and improved control of invasive plant species that have overtaken much of this important and scenic area.

Maurepas Swamp WMA consists of two tracts totaling some 61,633 acres donated to LDWF by the Richard King Mellon Foundation in the summer of 2001, 12,000 acres of acquisitions and donations between 2002 and 2011, an additional 29,630 acres (M.C. Davis Tract) acquired from the Conservation fund in early 2012, and subsequent property acquisitions, including the Rathborne, Boyce, and Crusel tracts.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most sought after game species on Maurepas Swamp WMA are white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, and waterfowl. There are youth deer and squirrel seasons. While you may use ATVs to retrieve game on much of the WMA, you many not use motorized vehicles on the Crusel Tract. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Common freshwater fish include largemouth bass, sunfish, and crappie. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are two tent-only camping areas; one is on the New River Canal and the other on Reserve Canal.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Bald eagles and osprey nest in and around the WMA. Numerous species of neotropical migrant birds use this coastal forest habitat during fall and spring migrations. Resident birds, including wood ducks, black-bellied whistling ducks, egrets, and herons can be found on the WMA year-round.

Hiking: A ½-mile long nature trail is located on the east side of U.S. Hwy 51, approximately ½ mile north of Peavine Road in LaPlace.

Directions

Maurepas Swamp WMA is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans, along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west of Sorrento. You can access the area by boat via the Blind River and the Reserve Flood Relief Canal. You can also access on foot; major highways crossing through the area include I-10, I-55, U.S. Hwy 51, and LA Hwy 641. There are 16 self-clearing permit stations located throughout the WMA.