A Community, State and National Treasure
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is one of five refuges managed in the North Louisiana Refuges Complex and one of over 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It was established in 1997 through a unique partnership with the city of Monroe, Louisiana.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a free 99-year lease to manage the city-owned lake.
The 1,600 acre scenic lake, a central feature of the refuge, is studded with picturesque baldcypress and tupelo trees and surrounded by swamps that graduate into bottomland hardwoods and then into upland mixed pine/hardwoods.
The 4,500-acre refuge supports an excellent fisheries resource and provides valuable habitat for migratory waterfowl, neotropical migratory songbirds, and many resident wildlife species.
Just north of Monroe off Hwy 165 on Richland Place, this semi-urban refuge is ideally located to provide a great place for wildlife and a great place for people to connect with the natural world.
Hours and Fees
Dawn to Dusk
The refuge lands and waters are open year-round, from dawn to dusk.
Visitor Center Hours
- Monday - Friday -- 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday -- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday -- 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The refuge Visitor Center is closed on all federal holidays.
There are no admission fees, however a $2 fee is required to launch boats on the lake.
Refuge Bird Sightings
eBird is a real-time, online bird checklist that any birdwatcher can use. eBird is sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Here you can see which birds have been seen in the past month on the refuge by birdwatchers. If you want to add your sightings, sign up at ebird.org. List the birds you saw on the refuge under the “hotspot” for Black Bayou Lake NWR.