Attakapas Island

Acreage

27,962

Contact

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

Parish

Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary

Owner/manager

State of Louisiana, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Description

The state acquired Attakapas Island WMA in 1976. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also owns several tracts of land, including Shatters Bayou, that are managed as part of this WMA.

The WMA’s terrain is characterized by flat swampland subject to periodic flooding and silt from the Atchafalaya River. Areas adjacent to the river and spoil banks from dredging activities provide upland habitat and refuge areas during periods of high water. Many areas within the WMA have silted in; siltation will continue to increase the land-to-water ratio.

The primary overhead vegetation in the swamp is cypress and tupelo with some oak, maple, and hackberry growing in the upland areas. Black willow is prevalent on the newly deposited lands, which are numerous throughout the WMA. Understory vegetation in upland tracts includes blackberry, deciduous holly, elderberry, goldenrod, greenbriar, peppervine, pokeweed, palmetto, and switch cane. Common swamp plants include lizard tail, smartweed, coontail, and pennywort. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew heavily damaged the forest canopy on Attakapas Island WMA. LDWF reforested many of the higher areas along the Atchafalaya River with cypress; ash; elm; water, nuttall, cherrybark, and cow oak; and other upland species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include white-tailed deer, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, and turkey. There is a youth-only season for deer. Trapping is allowed for furbearing animals. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Attakapas Island WMA is popular for fishing. Crawfish are found throughout the spillway; catfish, mullet, bass, bluegill, gar, bowfin, and freshwater drum are also common. See regulations for details.

Birding: hawks, owls, shorebirds, and neotropical migrants

Camping: There are three primitive camping areas and one camping area with picnic tables and running water located on Martin Ridge Road near Myette Point.

Hiking: LDWF has created and maintains about 30 miles of trails around the reforested plots on the east and west sides of the Atchafalaya River.

Directions

Attakapas Island WMA is located about 20 miles northwest of Morgan City and 10 miles northeast of Franklin. You can only access Attakapas Island WMA by boat. Nearby public launches include:

  • Myette Point boat launch on Martin Ridge Road off Hwy 87
  • Northeast of Charenton off Hwy 326, Charenton Beach Boat Launch
  • Above Morgan City on Hwy 70
  • Off Hwy 75 at Bayou Pigeon landing in Iberville Parish.