Manchac Wildlife Management Area, located in the uppermost portion of St. John the Baptist Parish about 17 miles NNE of LaPlace, was purchased from E.G. Schlieder in 1975. Entrance to the interior of the area is presently limited to various canals. The headquarters are located on the Galva Canal.
The topography is characterized by flat, low marshland subject to flooding, especially with easterly winds. Major vegetation in the past was originally bald cypress, but nearly all of this has been tagged from the area leaving an open freshwater marsh. There is a shallow freshwater pond, known as the Prairie, near the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline comprising approximately 500 acres. This is one of the better duck ponds within the Lake Pontchartrain system. Pirogues and mudboats are the major means of transportation in the Prairie.
Predominant vegetation includes bull tongue, smartweed, alligator weed, and spartina. Submerged aquatics are naiads, pondweeds, fanwort, and coontail. A strip of cypress tupelo is present along the Lake Pontchartrain boundary. The canopy is generally open and the understory consists of black willow, maple, palmetto, baccharis and assorted grasses.
The most sought after game species are waterfowl including scaup, mallard, teal, gadwall, widgeon, shoveler, coot and rail. Other species hunted include snipe, rails and rabbits. Permit trapping for alligator, nutria, muskrat and raccoon is normally allowed each year.
About 50 wood duck nesting boxes have been located at various locations to make up for the lack of mature trees with cavities in them. These man-made nesting sites have been eagerly accepted by the birds.
Other forms of recreation include fishing and birdwatching. Both bald eagles and ospreys have been sighted on the area.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division: 42371 Phyllis Ann Rd. Hammond, LA 70403 985-543-4777