May 3, 2012– Outdoors enthusiasts utilizing the Biloxi Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will continue to have access to the site for an additional 25 years following renewal of a lease between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation. LDWF announced the lease renewal at today’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting.
“This long standing partnership with Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation has provided for public access to this excellent fish and wildlife habitat for 55 years, and we are pleased that arrangements have been made to extend that access at no cost to the department,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.
The Biloxi WMA is located in upper St. Bernard Parish, approximately 40 miles east of New Orleans. It is accessible only by boat via commercial launches at Hopedale and Shell Beach. The 35,644-acre tract has been leased to LDWF by the corporation since 1957.
“Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation is very proud of the fact that it has been able to provide over 35,000 acres of its property for public recreation for more than 50 years and with the recent renewal of the lease agreement we will continue to provide an expansive area for public use for the next 25 years,” said William Rudolf, Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation president.
A number of bayous, sloughs and potholes make the Biloxi tract an excellent producer of fish, shrimp, crabs, waterfowl and furbearers. The few canal spoil banks and ridges scattered throughout the marsh provide escape for birds and mammals from rising water levels during storms or high tides.
Game species hunted on the area include rabbits, rails, gallinules, snipe, ducks, and geese. Ducks present in winter months include lesser scaup, teal, widgeon, gadwall, shoveler, and mottled duck, with lesser concentrations of pintail and mallard. Blue and snow geese are normally found on the WMA, although not in large numbers. Furbearing animals present include nutria, muskrat, mink, raccoon, otter and opossum. Alligators are also found on the property.
Fish species common in the area include speckled trout, redfish, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, and croaker.