Waddill Wildlife Refuge
Adjacent to the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, Waddill Wildlife Refuge provides an urban refuge along the Comite River. The river floods several sites on the refuge in the spring and has scarred the refuge’s topography with ridges, swales, and intermittent streams. Flora is a mixture of upland and bottomland hardwood forest. There is a cypress/tupelo break in the southeast corner of the property. Frank H. Waddill willed the property to the State of Louisiana in 1941 for use as a forest reserve and wildlife refuge.
Home to an outdoor education center that offers numerous activities and amenities, Waddill is the perfect place to get away from it all either with family or by yourself. Most of the facilities at Waddill are handicap accessible. Unless you are part of a large, organized group, you do not need reservations to use our outdoor facilities; however, please be aware that you may be sharing the area with other people.
Activities and Amenities
- Two ponds for fishing
- Nature trails (please note that one or more of the trails may be closed due to ongoing maintenance to repair damage from the 2016 flood)
- Air rifle range
- Archery ranges
- Swamp habitat
- Sand bar on the Comite River
- Picnic facilities
- Large pavilion with screened outdoor kitchen (stove/sink/BBQ pit)
- Small pavilion with fire pit and handwashing station
- Classroom with ceiling projector and DVD player
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a fishing license to fish at Waddill?
Yes, you must have a valid Louisiana Basic Fishing License to fish at Waddill, unless you are:
- A resident or nonresident under age 16 (i.e. age 15 and under)
- A resident born before June 1, 1940, who has lived in Louisiana for 6 months.
Do I need a reservation to take my family or friends fishing at Waddill’s ponds?
No, you do not need a reservation to fish in the ponds. Enjoy!
How many fish can I keep?
Currently, the limits per angler are three (3) catfish and two (2) bass under 14 inches, with a total of five (5) fish maximum per group of anglers. There are no creel or size limits for bream. Signs with current creel and size limits are posted on the welcome kiosk and around the ponds.
Does the facility have fishing poles that I can borrow?
No. You must bring your own fishing gear and bait. We suggest live worms, crickets, or diced hot dogs for bait.
Can I reserve the fishing ponds for a private fishing event?
The ponds at Waddill are open to the public and cannot be reserved. Note that ponds may be closed at any time for LDWF educational programs.
Who do I contact if I want to hold a fishing education program for my group/school/organization?
You can coordinate fishing and aquatic education programs through our Fisheries Outreach staff.
Facilities and Events
Can I reserve facilities at Waddill for a birthday/wedding/retirement party?
No. No private reservations are allowed at Waddill.
Who can reserve the classroom?
Governmental entities, outdoor education volunteers teaching Hunter Education courses, and outdoor-affiliated organizations can reserve the classroom for educational presentations. Examples of outdoor-affiliated organizations include Master Naturalists, Scouts, 4-H, and Ducks Unlimited.
The classroom can accommodate 50 persons. There are 18 tables, as well as a ceiling projector and DVD player with connections for laptops and speakers available for use. Please note that the user must provide any special video adapters needed for the projector.
Do I need a reservation to bring my family/friends for a picnic or walk on the nature trails?
No. Small groups and individuals do not need a reservation to use the grounds. Note that all visitors must sign in at the welcome kiosk located in the parking lot. Enjoy!
Can I use the outdoor kitchen if I have a small group of family/friends?
The outdoor kitchen and BBQ pit are available for public use. Note that these facilities may already be reserved for another group’s activities, or you may have to share them with other members of the public. You must clean these facilities after you use them; otherwise, we may no longer be able to provide this service.
Can my organization hold a fundraising event at Waddill?
No fundraising activities by any organization are allowed on facility grounds.
Can I bring my dog/pet to walk the nature trails?
Pets are not allowed on facility grounds. However, service animals are permitted.
Ranges (Archery and Shooting)
Can I use the archery range to sight in my bow/crossbow?
Absolutely! The range is available for public use. Please note that only field points are allowed on our range. We provide both range and 3-D targets, and there is an elevated shooting platform for practicing. Note that all users who use the platform are required to wear a fall-arrest harness, which is not provided.
Are the archery trails open to the public?
Yes, there are 3-D targets along the archery trails for public use. The trails are open weekdays and Saturdays, unless there is an archery tournament. Contact Kacie Rome at email@example.com or 225.274.8192 for the tournament schedule.
Does the facility provide bows/arrows?
No. The archery range has targets for public use, but you must provide any other equipment.
Is the air rifle range open to the public?
Yes. Any individual or small group can use the range, provided that they follow all posted range safety rules. Air rifles exceeding 1200 fps are prohibited.
Can the public use the shotgun range?
Currently, the shotgun range is only available for Hunter Education classes and special events. Private groups cannot reserve the range.
Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
All visitors must sign in at the welcome kiosk upon arrival.
If you are interested in visiting Waddill with a large, organized group that would require parking for a bus or multiple vehicles or having an organized event or using the classroom at Waddill, you must request a reservation via our Facility Request Form. We will contact you within one week of receiving your request.
- No private reservations are allowed at Waddill. Only governmental entities, outdoor education volunteers teaching Hunter Education courses, and outdoor-affiliated organizations can reserve the classroom for educational presentations. Examples of outdoor-affiliated organizations include Master Naturalists, Scouts, 4-H, and Ducks Unlimited.
- Waddill facilities cannot be reserved for parties or any fundraising activity.
- We may not be able to accommodate all reservation requests.
- We do not allow pets, water slides, bounce houses, volleyball nets, or the use of any motorized transportation on the grounds and trails.
Map and Resources
- Waddill Wildlife Refuge Map
- Waddill Wildlife Refuge Bird Species List
- Waddill Wildlife Refuge Amphibian and Reptile Species List
- Waddill Wildlife Refuge Plant Species List
Waddill is located 3 miles north of I-12 at 4142 North Flannery Road, Baton Rouge, LA.
East Baton Rouge
No hunting is permitted at Waddill. Current fishing regulations are posted on signs on the welcome kiosk and around the ponds.