Sabine National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Welcome to Sabine National Wildlife Refuge

Visitors watching an alligator image.  Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 and is the largest coastal marsh refuge on the Gulf of Mexico. The primary management objective of the refuge is to preserve a large area of coastal wetlands for wintering and migrating waterfowl from both the Mississippi and Central Flyways. This refuge is a major nursery area for many estuarine-dependent marine species as well as home to alligators and other reptiles, mammals, and numerous wading, water, and marsh birds.

This 124,511 acre coastal marsh National Wildlife Refuge provides important habitat for more than 300 species of birds, 26 species of mammals, 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, 132 species of fish and 68 species of marine invertebrates. Wildlife species diversity in productive coastal wetlands is second only to rainforest wildlife diversity.

Numerous recreational opportunities are available year round. Hiking, wildlife observation and photography are popular at the Wetland Walkway and Blue Goose Trail. The Wetland Walkway is a 1.5 mile walking trail including a section of boardwalk across a freshwater marsh, an observation tower with viewing scopes, five trail rest shelters with benches, interpretive signs, and a restroom facility. The Blue Goose Trail is a one mile foot path that leads you through a brackish marsh community to the edge of Calcasieu Lake. The area includes an observation tower, restroom, and numerous interpretive signs about the area.

Crabbing and fishing opportunities are available year round at Northline, Hog Island Gully, Blue Crab, and West Cove Recreation Areas. Several of the areas have improved fishing piers which are wheelchair accessible. Seasonal cast netting is permitted from a boat only. Boat launching and boat activities including fishing, crabbing, photography, and wildlife observation are permitted from March 15 through October 15 from sunrise to sunset. For activity details please pick up a Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex Fishing Brochure available at each recreation site.

Public waterfowl hunting is available in designated hunt areas on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday during the Louisiana teal season and the west zone duck and coot season. All hunters are required to obtain, read and sign a copy of the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex Hunting Regulations, which may be picked up at the Sabine West Cove Recreation area kiosk, the Complex office at Cameron Prairie NWR, or by calling the Complex Headquarters at 337-598-2216 to request a mailed copy. A limited lottery alligator hunt takes place during the Louisiana fall alligator season, see Complex Hunting Regulations brochure for application details.

Visitors watching an alligator image.  Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS

To learn more about the importance of the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges and their management for wildlife, visit the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center located at Cameron Prairie NWR, about an hour’s drive from Sabine NWR. The Visitor Center features exhibits about Sabine, Cameron Prairie, Lacassine, and Shell Keys National Wildlife Refuges, and their coastal habitats and inhabitants. A dynamic diorama theater with Cajun animatronic characters, T’maurice and Tante Marie, will surprise and entertain you. Other exhibits include a video visit to the tiny, inaccessible Shell Keys NWR, a scale model of a water control structure for hands-on learning about marsh management, natural habitat dioramas, impressive alligator displays, an interactive computer, and a fiber-optic migration exhibit.

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, 3000 Holly Beach Highway, Hackberry, LA 70645 office phone number 337-762-3816.

To stay informed about....Louisiana; please view additional links from the SW LA National Wildlife Refuge Complex Home page at http://www.fws.gov/swlarefugecomplex for the most updated information about refuge programs.

 

Last updated: September 5, 2012