Joyce WMA is a 27,487 acre tract located in southern Tangipahoa Parish five miles south of Hammond, LA. The 12,809 acres that originally comprised the WMA was donated by the Joyce Foundation in 1982. In 1994, an additional 2,250 acres was donated to LDWF by the Guste Heirs. The 8,364 acre Salmen/Octavia Tract was acquired in 2008 and the 2,729 acre Dendinger Tract was acquired in 2010. An additional 851 acres and 484 acres are leased from the Joyce Foundation and the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, respectively.
This entire area is a wetland within the Pontchartrain Basin and consists primarily of cypress-tupelo swamp. A large portion of the area is a dense shrub-marsh community with red maple, wax-myrtle, red bay, and younger cypress-tupelo. A 500 acre fresh marsh of primarily maiden-cane is located on the northern portion of the property. Recently, a Limited Access Area (LAA) was established in the northwestern corner of Joyce WMA. The LAA prohibits the use of internal combustion engines year-round (see WMA map for specific location).
The most sought game animals on Joyce WMA include white-tailed deer, waterfowl, rabbit and squirrel. Freshwater fish, including largemouth bass, sunfish, and catfish are also pursued on the area. Alligators and a variety of other herpetofauna are common on this WMA. Bald eagles and osprey nest in and around the WMA. Numerous other species of birds, including neotropical migrants, utilize this coastal forest during fall and spring migrations. Resident waterfowl, including wood ducks, mottled ducks, hooded mergansers, and black-bellied whistling ducks, are found on the area year-round. Over 50 wood duck nesting boxes are maintained and monitored on the area.
Public Use (see WMA map for specific locations of features noted below)
Access into the interior of the property is limited and there are no roads that lead into the swamp. Common means of access are several abandoned logging canals that enter the area from the west off of US 51. These old logging runs are narrow and travel is limited to pirogues and canoes and then only during moderate-high water periods. Access by outboard motor is limited to the upper reaches of Middle Bayou and Black Bayou, as well as the Tangipahoa River and Bedico Creek. There is a public boat launch on North Pass at US 51. Other access points include Lee’s Landing and Traino Landing, south of LA 22. Check station kiosks where the public can acquire the required self clearing permits to enter the area are located throughout the area.
An elevated boardwalk “Swamp Walk” constructed in 1990 provides WMA visitors with the opportunity to view the swamp interior and observe the associated wildlife and vegetation.
Please refer to the WMA rules and regulations within the current La. Hunting Regulations booklet for permitted activities. In addition to hunting, trapping, and fishing, other common activities on the WMA include sightseeing, boating, birdwatching and frogging. Contract trapping for alligators and permit trapping for nutria is allowed each year. Please note that Joyce WMA is a site along the American Wetlands Birding Trail.
Additional information may be obtained from the:
LDWF Hammond Field Office
42371 Phyllis Ann Rd.
Hammond, LA 70403