LDWF’s Scenic Rivers Program preserves, protects, develops, reclaims, and enhances the wilderness qualities, scenic beauties, and ecological regimes of designated free-flowing Louisiana rivers, streams, bayous, and segments thereof. It is one of the largest, if not the largest, programs of its kind in the country.
Approximately 3,000 miles of water are currently designated as Scenic Rivers in Louisiana, including a great diversity of waterbody types, habitats, and geographic areas throughout the state:
- Large, first order rivers like the Ouachita River in north central Louisiana to small, spring-fed creeks like the Pushepatapa in Washington Parish
- Fast running, upland streams complete with waterfalls like Kisatchie Bayou in Natchitoches Parish to beautiful, cypress-filled bottomland bayous like Bayou Dorcheat in Webster Parish
- Sluggish, coastal marsh bayous like Bayou Chaperon in St. Bernard Parish to whole watersheds like the Tchefuncte River and its tributaries which meander through St. Tammany Parish's savannahs, forests, and swamps.
The Scenic Rivers Program offers a unique opportunity for individuals and communities to get involved in protecting, conserving, and preserving two of Louisiana's greatest natural resources—its water and its wilderness.
- Certain activities that could have detrimental ecological impacts on designated Scenic Rivers are prohibited.
- Some activities on or near these waterbodies require Scenic Rivers Permits.
- LDWF requires Best Management Practices for many activities near designated Scenic Rivers to avoid or minimize their impacts.
- Landowners with property adjacent to designated Scenic Rivers may wish to enter into scenic and/or surface servitude agreements with LDWF to provide additional protection for these areas.
In addition, individuals and communities can help by using these waterbodies and their adjacent lands in responsible ways, initiating river cleanup projects, and reporting conditions or activities that threaten these rivers to LDWF at 225.765.2642. Perhaps the greatest contribution that any of us can make is to simply spend time on these beautiful rivers, streams, and bayous to appreciate their integral roles in our way of life and quality of life in Louisiana.
Suggest a Kayak Launch
To further promote paddlesport opportunities throughout our state, especially on our Scenic Rivers, we're asking kayakers and other paddlers to help us provide directions and coordinates to public put-ins (public parks with water access, right of ways that allow public use and have safe parking, campgrounds which allow day use and launching for a fee, and businesses which rent paddle craft and allow launching for a fee). You can submit a location online. We'll add locations to our Louisiana Outdoor Explorer Interactive Map as we receive them (see the Get on the Water tab).
Nominate a River, Stream, or Bayou
Contact your local legislator to nominate a river, stream, or bayou for to be included in Louisiana's Scenic Rivers System. When a waterbody is nominated, LDWF conducts a study on the waterbody to decide whether it meets the program's minimum qualifying criteria. If it does, the administrator of LDWF recommends to the Louisiana Legislature that the waterbody be included in the system.
Donate to the Scenic Rivers Fund
The Scenic Rivers Fund may only be used for the acquisition of servitudes, education, and the monitoring and enforcement of the provisions of the Scenic Rivers Act. For more information on donating to the fund, contact Chris Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225.765.2642.