Boating

Bodcau

Information
Owned: 
USACOE
Acreage: 
34,355 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050

Description:
Bodcau Wildlife Management Area is located in Bossier and Webster Parishes and derives its name from the major bayou that bisects it from its northernmost point at the Arkansas-Louisiana state line to its southernmost tip nearly 30 miles to the south. The area is located approximately 17 miles northeast of Bossier City. Numerous access routes to Bodcau WMA are available. The primary access to the area is by traveling north on La. Hwy. 157 from Interstate 20 at Haughton to the community of Bellevue and then following the signs. ATV activity is permitted on numerous marked trails.
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and a private corporate landowner own Bodcau WMA. The area is long and narrow with an average width of one and one-half miles and consists of approximately 34,355 acres. The dam and flood reservoir were built and their primary function remains to control downstream flooding. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the U. S. Corps of Engineers and the corporate landowner by way of long term licensing agreements manage the wildlife resources and public access on the area.
The area contains a wide range of wildlife habitat ranging from cypress swamps to upland pine and hardwood forests interspersed with grasslands and open fields. Many species of grasses and forbs that are typically found in states west of Louisiana can be found growing in the grassland areas. There are numerous seasonally flooded sloughs, beaver ponds, and large areas of flatland, bottomland, hardwood forests. One unique feature of the area is that the bottomland forest rapidly merges with the upland forest on a series of ridges that extend into the bottomland area.
Dominate tree species in the bottomland forests include bald cypress, water, overcup, willow, and cow oaks. Shortleaf and loblolly pine, white, red, and cherrybark oaks, sweetgum and elm trees dominate upland forests. Understory species in the bottomland area include poison ivy, honeysuckle, rattan, buttonbush and swamp privet. Upland understory species include blackberry, honeysuckle, poison ivy and beautyberry and sawbriar.
Ivan Lake, a man-made reservoir located on Bodcau WMA provides thousands of hours of fishing and small boating recreation. Bodcau Bayou and its? overflow can provide excellent bass and bream fishing in addition to crawfishing opportunities during certain years.
White-tailed deer can be hunted by bow and arrow and modern firearms. The deer herd is considered healthy. Squirrel, rabbits, doves, quail and all other species of small game hunting opportunities exist on Bodcau WMA. Waterfowl hunting opportunities are provided in the 1,600 acre greentree reservoir and in the numerous sloughs and backwater flooded areas. Wild turkey hunting is also allowed during a short spring gobbler season.
The Department manages a rifle range with targets from 25 to 200 yards, a pistol range with 25 and 50 yard targets and a shotgun station. The range is supervised by an approved range officer and is open to the public on regularly scheduled days.
Ongoing habitat management and development on the WMA include prescribed burning, fallow disking, supplement food plantings, waterlevel manipulation and timber harvest. These practices help to provide quality habitat for game and non-game species. Wildlife watching is a very popular year around activity on Bodcau WMA. Non-game species such as great blue herons, several species of hawks, and barred, horned and screech owls are common. Yellow, black and white, yellow-throated, magnolia, prairie and yellow-rumped warblers are regularly seen on the area. Numerous species of reptiles, amphibians and insects can also be seen on the area.
Camping is available at the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers improved camping area located on the south end of the area and several primitive camping areas.
Additional information may be obtained from the LDWF, Wildlife Division, 1401 Talton St., Minden, LA 71055.

Biloxi

Information
Owned: 
Biloxi Marsh Land Corporation
Acreage: 
35,644 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
504-284-5267
Map: 
Description:

The Biloxi Wildlife Management Area is located in Upper St. Bernard Parish about 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 is owned and leased to the Department by the Biloxi Marsh Lands Corporation. The area is a low brackish to saline marsh. A few oak trees are present on old ridges but the major vegetation includes marshhay cord grass, black rush, hog cane, smooth cord grass, saltgrass, glasswort, and three square. Widgeon grass is the main submerged aquatic plant occurring there.

A tremendous 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. Major ducks present in winter are lesser scaup, teal, wigeon, gadwall, shoveler, and mottled duck with lesser concentrations of pintail and mallard. Blue and snow geese are normally found on Biloxi although not in large numbers. Fur animals present include nutria, muskrat, mink, raccoon, otter, and opossum. Alligators are also found on the area.

Fish species common on the area include speckled trout, redfish, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, and croaker. Large catches of crabs and shrimp are often taken by both sportsmen and commercial fishermen.

Besides hunting and fishing, other forms of recreation available are boating, crabbing, shrimping, and bird watching.

Vessels/Vehicles:  All Airboats, ATVs/UTVs, motorcycles, horses, and mules are prohibited.  Mud boats or air cooled propulsion vessels can only be powered by straight shaft “long-tail” air-cooled mud motors that are 25 total horsepower or less.  All other types of mud boats or air cooled propulsion vessels, including “surface-drive” boats, are prohibited.

 

Big Lake

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
19,231 Acres
Contact
Email: 
lmoak@wlf.la.gov
Phone: 
318-343-4044
Map: 

Overview:

Size, Location and History

Big Lake Wildlife Management Area consists of 19,231 acres located 12 miles east of Gilbert, La. The eastern boundary of Big Lake WMA is contiguous with a portion of the western boundary of Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, together these areas form one of the largest remaining tracts of the vast bottomland hardwood forests that historically composed the lower Mississippi River floodplain from lower Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. Major access routes to Big Lake WMA are Louisiana Highways 4 and 610. The area was purchased by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries through the Rockefeller Fund in three components between 1983 and 1985; 9,833 acres 1983, 4,888 acres 1984, and 4,510 acres 1985.

Description of Landscape:

The topography is flat with some ridges and generally poorly drained, terrain varies from 55-65 feet M.S.L. Seasonal flooding occurs dependent on water levels within the Tensas River, but periodic flooding may occur anytime after periods of heavy rainfall. Abandoned and active mineral exploration and production sites, roadways, pipelines, and open-water lakes, sloughs, and bayous provide diversity throughout the area. Seven small lakes and six small bayous, approximately 200 acres and 25 miles of waterways, respectively, can be found on the area.

Most of the forested component of the area consists of relatively closed overstory canopy with a fairly dense understory. Major timber species are Nuttall oak, water oak, willow oak, overcup oak, American elm, sweetgum, bitter pecan, honey locust, sugarberry, willow, sycamore, persimmon, cedar elm, red maple, box elder, and cypress. Understory species include rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, elderberry, Smilax sp., baccharis, switchcane, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species. Invasive species include trifoliate orange, water hyacinth, and several other nuisance aquatics.

The most popular game species are white-tailed deer, squirrels/rabbits, and turkey. Limited waterfowl and woodcock hunting opportunities are also available. Freshwater fish including largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish are popular with area users.

Big Lake WMA along with Tensas National Wildlife Refuge is home to a thriving population of Louisiana Black Bear. Reported sightings, nuisance complaints of adjacent landowners, and vehicle collisions are steadily increasing and Black Bear research on this entire area is ongoing.

Big Lake WMA is visited by many neo-tropical bird species annually and home to large numbers of passerine birds. This area is recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as an important site. Bald eagles and osprey are observed regularly.

Public Use:

The largest user group of this area is deer hunters. The Department maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails that provide access to area users. Several walking trails follow pipelines rights-of-way. Boat launches are available on most area lakes. Four permit stations located at major entrances to the area are provided to meet self-clearance requirements. No public camping areas are available on Big Lake WMA, campsites are available to the public for a fee on adjacent private property. The one mile Trusler Lake Hiking Trail is located in the interior of the area.

Other Public Use:

Please refer to the WMA rules and regulations for permitted activities. In addition to hunting, trapping, and fishing other common activities include boating, commercial fishing, hiking, birdwatching/sightseeing, horseback riding, berry picking, frogging, raccoon field trials, and crayfishing. A recreational lottery for alligators is allowed each year also.

Additional information may be obtained from LDWF, 368 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe, LA 71203. Phone (318) 343-4044.

Regulations:

BIG LAKE (Department Owned - 19,231 Acres, Monroe Office)

 

Attakapas

Information
Owned: 
State of Louisiana, USACOE
Acreage: 
27,962 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(337) 948-0255
Description:

Attakapas Wildlife Management Area, located in upper St. Mary Parish and in parts of lower St. Martin and Iberia Parishes, was acquired in 1976. The center of the area is situated about 20 miles NW of Morgan City and 10 miles NE of Franklin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns a small tract of land that is also managed by La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Access to the 27,962 acre tract is by boat only, with major public launches available: (1) Millet Point, at St. Mary Parish Road 123, off of Hwy 87, (2) NNE of Charenton Of Hwy 326, (3) above Morgan City on Hwy 70, (4) off Hwy. 75 at Bayou Pigeon landing in Iberville Parish.

The terrain is characterized by flat swampland subject to periodic flooding and siltation 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 pockets in the management area have silted in and will continue to increase the land-to-water ratio.

The main 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 prevalent throughout the management area. Understory vegetation in upland tracts includes blackberry, deciduous holly, elderbery, and goldenrod. Greenbriars, peppervine, pokeweed, palmetto and switch cane. Common swamp plants are lizard tail, alligator weed, smartweed, coontail, pennywort and water hyacinth. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew caused wide scale destruction to the trees on Attakapas. The Department reforested many of the higher areas along the Atchafalaya River with cypress, ash, elm, water oak, nuttall oak, cherrybark oak, cow oak and other upland species. Also, roughly 30 miles of trails have been created and maintained around these reforested plots on the east and west sides of the Atchafalaya River.

Game animals most hunted on the management area are deer, rabbits and squirrels. Waterfowl hunting is also popular. Other animals present are beaver, nutria, otter, mink, muskrat, raccoon, bobcat, opossum, and alligator. Trapping is allowed for furbearing animals. Hawks, owls, shorebirds, and neo-tropical migrants are also present.

Crawfish, found throughout the spillway, provide commercial and recreational opportunities. Major fish caught in the area include catfish, mullet, bass, bluegill, gar, bowfin, and freshwater drum.

The self-clearing permit is required for hunters only. There are three primitive, remote camping areas on Attakapas. There is one camping area with picnic tables and running water located on St. Mary Parish Road 123 near Millet Point. Additional information may be obtained may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, Louisiana 70570.

Atchafalaya Delta

Information
Owned: 
State of Louisiana
Acreage: 
137,695 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
337-373-0032
Description:

The Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area is a 137,695-acre area located at the mouths of the Atchafalaya River and the Wax Lake Outlet in St. Mary Parish. The area is located some 25 miles south of the towns of Morgan City and Calumet and is accessible only by boat.

Most of the area consists of open water in Atchafalaya Bay. Within the Bay, two deltas (the Main Delta and the Wax Lake Delta) have formed from the accretion of sediments from the Atchafalaya River and from the deposition of dredged material by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Only about 27,000 acres are vegetated on these deltas. About 15,000 acres of marsh and scrubby habitat occur on the Main Delta, and about 12,000 acres of marsh occur on the Wax Lake Delta.

Hunting on the Delta is primarily for waterfowl, deer, and rabbit. Deer hunting on the Main Delta (deer hunting on the Wax Lake Delta is not permitted) is restricted to archery hunting by adults and youth lottery gun hunts. Harvest per unit effort on deer is extremely high. Fur trapping, commercial fishing, recreational fishing (especially for redfish, catfish, bass, and bluegill) and alligator harvests also yield great returns. Non-consumptive recreational pursuits include boating, camping, and bird-watching, especially on the Main Delta.

The area has two campground areas (with primitive restrooms) and has a number of pilings available for houseboat mooring.  Overnight mooring is allowed via permit only (16-day permits or hunting season permits).  Year-round mooring is prohibited.  LDWF offers both lease and lottery opportunities.  Contact LDWF New Iberia Office for more details at 337-373-0032.

Alexander State Forest

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
7,955 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050

Description:
Alexander Forest Wildlife Management Area is located in south central Rapides Parish about ten miles south of Alexandria, off U.S. Highway 167, and one mile east of Woodworth.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture, Office of Forestry is the owner of this 7,955 acre tract which is managed as commercial forest with an emphasis on experimental forestry techniques. Indian Creek Lake, a 2,600 acre reservoir, is located on the area along with a 300 acre recreation and camping area.
The forest overstory is predominantly loblolly pine with scattered stands of longleaf and slash pines. Much of the timber is managed as pine plantations. However, creek drainages have been maintained in hardwoods. In addition red oak, blackgum, sweetgum, hackberry, beech, water and willow oaks are widely scattered over the forest.
Game species available for hunting include deer, squirrel, rabbit, quail and waterfowl. The featured species on the area is white-tailed deer. Herd density is good with antler quality and body weights typical of piney woods sites. Hunter success during the either-sex muzzleloader hunts is generally above average.
An education center is owned and operated by the Department on a 17 acre site within the WMA. The center is used for a variety of educational programs. Two shooting ranges are located on the grounds. The 100 yard rifle and pistol range and a shotgun range are used in education programs and also available to the public during specified times. Information on range hours and fees is available at (318) 484-2212.
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries operates two fish hatcheries adjacent to the WMA. These hatcheries are the primary source of fish for the statewide stocking program. Booker Fowler hatchery has a visitor center and offers hatchery group tours by appointment. For hatchery information call (318) 748-6914.
Two boat ramps are located on Indian Creek Lake. Sportfishing is the major activity on the lake. Water-skiing and swimming are also popular recreational uses. Camping facilities are operated and maintained by the Office of Forestry. Trailer and tent accommodations are available with electricity, water, bath houses and swimming areas. A fee is charged for the use of these facilities. For camping information telephone the Indian Creek Recreation Area at (318) 487-5058.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1995 Shreveport Highway, Pineville, LA 71360.

L.D.W.F. Enforcement Agents Issue 142 Citations on Ouiska Chitto River

Release Date: 08/04/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents issued 142 citations on the Ouiska Chitto River in Allen Parish during the months of May, June and July 2010.

Numerous Enforcement Division details on the Ouiska Chitto River throughout the summer months consisted of boating safety patrols, surveillance for illegal drug activity, littering and underaged consumption of alcohol.

Agents issued seven boating safety citations, 24 littering citations,78 citations for consuming or possessing alcohol under 21, nine drug citations and 24 glass container citations. LDWF Enforcement agents also made arrests for disturbing the peace for fighting and public intoxication.

The Ouiska Chitto is a scenic river in Allen Parish and is a popular destination for families involved in canoeing, bird watching, photography and fishing. LDWF Enforcement agents along with the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office maintain frequent patrols on the river during the summer months. With the persistent law enforcement presence, there has been a significant decline in underage drinking and littering on the Ouiska Chitto River.

The penalty for purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages under the age of 21 is a fine up to $100, or imprisonment for up to six months or both. The boating safety violations carry a fine of $50, or jail time up to 15 days or both for a first offense. The fines for the glass violations and littering are set by the Allen Parish District Attorney's Office.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.
2010-E44

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Baton Rouge Boater

Release Date: 07/15/2010

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Baton Rouge man on July 9 for flight from an officer and other charges. 

On June 12, LDWF agents were attempting to stop a vessel for a violation on Blind River in Ascension Parish when the vessels operator fled and refused to stop.  Agents gave chase and a high-speed pursuit ensued.  The suspect eluded the agents in Lake Maurepas. 

As the result of a three-week investigation, agents identified, arrested and booked Darrell R. Smith Jr., 30, into the Ascension Parish Jail.  Smith was charged with violating a no wake zone, careless operation and flight from an officer. 

If convicted, Smith could face fines of $1,037.50 and serve up to seven months in jail. 

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agent Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Buck Hampton and Senior Agent Clay Marques. 

For more information, contact Capt. Len Yokum at 225-765-2999 or lyokum@wlf.louisiana.gov. 
2010-E42 

L.D.W.F. Agents Arrest Gonzales Man after Fatal Lake Maurepas Boating Incident

Release Date: 07/15/2010

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Gonzales man on July 13 for three counts of negligent homicide for his alleged role in the death of three Gonzales citizens following a boating incident in Lake Maurepas in May. 

Agents arrested Blake Carronna, 25, who was the operator of a boat when it spun out of control fatally wounding three people and injuring another on May 29, and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail. Carronna was also cited for two counts of reckless operation of a watercraft. 

Agents also cited Thomas White, 24, of Gonzales, who was the other survivor, for one count of reckless operation of a watercraft. White suffered arm and pelvic injuries from the boating incident. 

Authorities found the bodies of Anna Hite, 20, Ryan Ducote, 24, and Mikayla Thibodeaux, 14, all of Gonzales, in the days following the incident. 

Agents also cited Carronna and White for not having enough personal flotation devices for everyone on board, failure to change ownership of registration and overloading a motorboat. Carronna was also cited for negligent injury. 

Negligent homicide carries up to a five-year jail term and $5,000 in fines. For negligent injury, Carronna faces up to $500 in fines and six months in jail. Reckless operation of a watercraft carries up to $500 in fines and 30 days in jail. The boating safety citations bring a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail. 

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov. 
2010-E41 

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