Big Lake




Contact; 318-343-4044; 368 CenturyLink Dr, Monroe, LA 71203


Franklin, Tensas, Madison




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 forest that historically composed the lower Mississippi River floodplain from lower Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. LDWF purchased the area through the Rockefeller Fund in three components between 1983 and 1985 (9,833 acres in 1983, 4,888 acres in 1984, and 4,510 acres in 1985).

Big Lake WMA is flat with some ridges and generally poorly drained; terrain varies from 55 to 65 feet above sea level. The area floods seasonally, depending on water levels of the Tensas River, and periodically after heavy rainful. Abandoned and active mineral exploration and production sites, roadways, pipelines, and open water lakes, sloughs, and bayous provide diversity throughout the area’s terrain. There are seven small lakes and six small bayous, making up approximately 200 acres and 25 miles of waterways, respectively.

The forested area of Big Lake WMA consists of relatively closed overstory canopy with a fairly dense understory. Major tree species include nuttall, water, willow, and overcup oak; American and cedar elm; sweetgum; bitter pecan; honey locust; sugarberry; willow; sycamore; persimmon; red maple; box elder; and cypress. The understory includes rattan, Rubus sp., Crataegus sp., swamp dogwood, Vitis sp., deciduous holly, elderberry, Smilax sp., baccharis, switchcane, poison ivy, and many herbaceous species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: The most popular game species on Big Lake WMA are white-tailed deer, squirrels, rabbits, and turkey. There are youth-only deer and turkey seasons. There are also limited waterfowl and woodcock hunting opportunities. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Boat launches are available on most of the area’s lakes. Recreational fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish, crawfishing, and frogging are popular with area users. See regulations for details.

Camping: There are no public camping areas on Big Lake WMA; however, campsites are available to the public for a fee on adjacent private property.

Birding and wildlife viewing: Recognized by the American Bird Conservancy as an important site, Big Lake WMA is home to large numbers of passerine birds, and many neotropical bird species visit the area every year. Birders regularly observe bald eagles and osprey.

Big Lake WMA and Tensas National Wildlife Refuge are home to a thriving population of Louisiana black bear. Reported sightings are steadily increasing, and black bear research is ongoing in this entire area.

Hiking: The 1-mile Trusler Lake Hiking Trail is located on the interior of Big Lake WMA. Several walking trails follow pipeline rights-of-way.

Other: horseback riding, berry picking


Big Lake WMA is located 12 miles east of Gilbert. Major access routes include LA Hwy 4 and 610. LDWF maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and numerous ATV trails that provide access to area users. There are four self-clearing permit stations at major entrances to the area.

Attakapas Island




Tony Vidrine 


 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570


Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary


State of Louisiana, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


The state acquired Attakapas Island WMA in 1976. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also owns several tracts of land, including Shatters Bayou, that are managed as part of this WMA.

The WMA’s terrain is characterized by flat swampland subject to periodic flooding and silt 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 areas within the WMA have silted in; siltation will continue to increase the land-to-water ratio.

The primary 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 numerous throughout the WMA. Understory vegetation in upland tracts includes blackberry, deciduous holly, elderberry, goldenrod, greenbriar, peppervine, pokeweed, palmetto, and switch cane. Common swamp plants include lizard tail, smartweed, coontail, and pennywort. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew heavily damaged the forest canopy on Attakapas Island WMA. LDWF reforested many of the higher areas along the Atchafalaya River with cypress; ash; elm; water, nuttall, cherrybark, and cow oak; and other upland species.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include white-tailed deer, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, and turkey. There is a youth-only season for deer. Trapping is allowed for furbearing animals. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Attakapas Island WMA is popular for fishing. Crawfish are found throughout the spillway; catfish, mullet, bass, bluegill, gar, bowfin, and freshwater drum are also common. See regulations for details.

Birding: hawks, owls, shorebirds, and neotropical migrants

Camping: There are three primitive camping areas and one camping area with picnic tables and running water located on Martin Ridge Road near Myette Point.

Hiking: LDWF has created and maintains about 30 miles of trails around the reforested plots on the east and west sides of the Atchafalaya River.


Attakapas Island WMA is located about 20 miles northwest of Morgan City and 10 miles northeast of Franklin. You can only access Attakapas Island WMA by boat. Nearby public launches include:

  • Myette Point boat launch on Martin Ridge Road off Hwy 87
  • Northeast of Charenton off Hwy 326, Charenton Beach Boat Launch
  • Above Morgan City on Hwy 70
  • Off Hwy 75 at Bayou Pigeon landing in Iberville Parish.

Atchafalaya Delta



Contact; 337-373-0032


St. Mary

Owned/managed by

State of Louisiana


Located at the mouths of the Atchafalaya River and the Wax Lake Outlet, Atchafalaya Delta WMA mostly consists of open water in Atchafalaya Bay. Within the bay, two deltas (Main Delta and Wax Lake Delta) have formed from the accretion of sediments from the Atchafalaya River and from dredged material deposited by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Main Delta has about 15,000 acres of marsh and scrubby habitat; Wax Lake Delta has about 12,000 acres of marsh.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Deer hunting is not permitted on Wax Lake Delta; deer hunting on Main Delta is restricted to adult archery hunting and annual youth lottery gun hunts. Harvest per unit effort on deer is extremely high. Waterfowl and rabbit hunting and fur trapping are also permitted. See regulations for details.

Fishing and boating: Atchafalaya Delta WMA is popular for fishing, especially for redfish, catfish, bass, and bluegill. See regulations for details.

Camping: Atchafalaya Delta WMA has two campgrounds with primitive restrooms. There are also a number of pilings available for houseboat mooring. You must have a permit for overnight mooring (16-day or hunting season permit). You may obtain hunting season overnight mooring privileges via a 5-year lease or lottery. Year-round mooring is prohibited.

Other: birding


You can only access Atchafalaya Delta WMA by boat. It is located about 25 miles south of Morgan City and Calumet.

Alexander State Forest



Contact; 318-487-5885; 1995 Shreveport Hwy, Pineville, LA 71360




Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF)


Alexander State Forest WMA is managed as a commercial forest with an emphasis on experimental forestry techniques. Much of the timber is managed as pine plantations. The forest overstory is predominantly loblolly pine with scattered stands of longleaf and slash pines. However, creek drainages have been maintained in hardwoods. In addition, red oak, blackgum, sweetgum, hackberry, beech, and water and willow oaks are widely scattered over the forest.

This WMA also includes Indian Creek Lake, a 2,600-acre reservoir, along with a 300-acre recreation and camping area.

Activities and Amenities

Hunting and trapping: Available game species include deer, quail, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, and woodcock. White-tailed deer are common on this WMA. Herd density is good; antler quality and body weights are typical of piney woods habitat. Hunter success during the either-sex primitive weapon hunts is generally above average. See regulations for details.

Physically challenged wheelchair-confined hunting areas are available on Alexander State Forest WMA. There is also a physically challenged deer season. Click here for a physically challenged hunter permit application and additional information.

Shooting range: LDWF operates a 100-yard rifle range, 50-yard pistol range, and shotgun range on this WMA. The public may use these ranges during specified times. Click here or call 318-482-2212 for more information on range hours and fees. Click here for the shooting safety zone map.

Fishing and boating: There are four boat launches on Indian Creek Lake, which is available for boating, swimming, and recreational fishing. See regulations for details.

Camping: LDAF operates trailer and tent accommodations with electricity, water, bath houses, and swimming areas. LDAF charges a fee for the use of these facilities. For more information, contact the Indian Creek Recreation Area at 318-487-5058.

Other: Woodworth Outdoor Education Center, Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery


Alexander State Forest WMA is about 10 miles south of Alexandria, off U.S. Hwy 165 and 1 mile east of Woodworth.

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

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 

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 

Lake Bistineau July 7, 2010 Update


The department has requested DOTD’s assistance to close the Lake Bistineau water control gates on Wednesday, July 14, 2010.  Fisheries staff are beginning to observe giant salvinia accumulating in some areas of the lake and agreed that it’s time to initiate some water fluctuation and attempt to strand plants.  Of course, present water levels need to rise in order to initiate this method.  Opening the gates in the future will depend on rain events and plant accumulations. 

It will not necessarily be our goal to allow the lake level to rise to pool stage in order to initiate water fluctuation.  We plant to alert the public a week in advance of either opening or closing the gates. 

While the lake has been down, fisheries staff have been evaluating salvinia re-emergence and assessing the lake bed.  Aspects of the plan remain incomplete pending the completion of this work.  Central to our efforts include a lake bed contour map and identifying areas for “dirt work” and tree removal.  Some of this work is best completed while the lake is down.  Allowing the lake to rise at this point is not expected to complicate these efforts.

Spray crews have treated some salvinia accumulations with herbicide spray applications.  As the lake level rises, our crews will have easier access to shallow areas and our efforts will increase.   

In addition, some areas have been designated to evaluate SONAR treatments.  These treatments, similar to Galleon treatments, require that water volume remain constant for several weeks to obtain desirable results.  Applications are expected in July.

Our website is presently being overhauled and our communication diminished in the last few weeks.  Our new site will be up soon.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Mark McElroy
Fisheries Biologist

July 4 Boat Explosion on Old River Injures Five

Release Date: 07/06/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents patrolling Old River in Pointe Coupee Parish responded to a call about a boat explosion after 7 p.m. on July 4. The boat had 6 passengers on board at the time of the explosion and all passengers, including the operator, ended up in the water.

The boat's occupants were quickly pulled from the water by West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s deputies working in the area and taken back to the boat launch. Agents responding found that Matthew P. Wilkes, 26, of Lakeland, was operating a 19-foot ski boat on Old River, when for unknown reasons the engine compartment exploded. Five of the passengers received third degree burns on their legs and backs. The injured were taken by Acadian Ambulance and Acadian Air Med to local hospitals for immediate medical treatment of their burns.

Those injured were: Raina Brown, 24, of Baton Rouge; Todd Hymel, 27, of Baton Rouge; Chris Duet, 25, of Baton Rouge; Keith Silvio, 25, of Baton Rouge; and Dustin Musso, 28, of Baton Rouge. Wilkes and passenger Allyson Marshall, 23, of Lakeland, were not injured.

The accident is currently under investigation by LDWF's Enforcement Division. Agents working the investigation are Sgt. Chris Carpenter and Senior Agent Allan Marbury. The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office, Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office and LDWF all responded to the incident.

For more information, contact Capt. Lastie Cormier, ph. 337-948-0257 or


Catfish Lake

1,758 Acres
Syndicate content