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Bussey Brake

Bussey Brake is LDWF’s newest WMA. International Paper donated the 2,600-acre property to LDWF in 2013. They used the 2,200-acre reservoir on this property, historically called Bussey Brake, as an emergency water supply for their mill in Bastrop but no longer needed it when the mill closed in 2010. However, since International Paper had always allowed the public to fish in the reservoir, they wanted to ensure that it would remain available to the public for fishing and other activities. 

Our primary focus on Bussey Brake WMA is managing a quality fishery. After receiving the property, we decided to prioritize fishing and renovate the reservoir. The reservoir was constructed in a forested area in the late 1950s and provided a tremendous fishery for many years. However, natural habitat loss and the introduction of undesirable fish species led to a decline in the productivity of the reservoir and fishing suffered. Our renovation involved almost completely draining the lake and removing the existing fish population. While the lake was lowered, we created boat lanes and constructed a new fishing pier, boat dock, and wave break. In addition, during the drawdown, abundant woody and herbaceous vegetation grew on the lake bottom, providing new habitat for fish. We will maintain this habitat to ensure a quality fishery on Bussey Brake for years to come. In 2017, we began stocking the lake with fish such as largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and red-ear sunfish.

For more information, contact Ryan Daniel at or 318.343.4044.

Activities and Amenities

Fishing and boating: Three fishing piers, including one ADA-accessible pier, are available for those without boats. A three-lane concrete boat launch is located at the north parking lot, while a dirt launch suitable for kayaks is available at the south parking lot. Anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass, bream, and crappie. Users can also access the adjacent Bayou Bartholomew, which forms the eastern boundary of Bussey Brake WMA. 

Some fishing regulations at Bussey Brake are different than statewide regulations to protect the young and expanding fishery and ensure a quality fishing experience for all anglers. 

Species Daily Creel Limit Size Limit
Bass 5 Anglers may keep one bass more than 16 inches long; otherwise the maximum length is 16 inches.
Bream (bluegill and redear sunfish) 50 None
Crappie 25 10-inch minimum length

Statewide regulations apply to all other species. Anglers may only use rod and reel or cane pole gear; no other gear types are allowed on the WMA.

Other: An 8-mile trail which follows the top of the reservoir levee is available fo hiking, biking (non-motorized bikes only), and horseback riding. The WMA is ideal for birdwatching, especially for waterfowl in the winter.



Bussey Brake










Bussey Brake WMA is located 5 miles northwest of Bastrop off of Bonner Ferry Road (LA Hwy 593). Two parking areas (north and south) are located on the west side of the highway. The self-clearing permit station is located at the north parking area.