Refuges in the SELA Complex
Bayou Sauvage
Bayou Teche
Big Branch Marsh
Bogue Chitto
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SELA Refuges Programs

Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge

This is the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge home page. It is accessible from all the pages in the Southeast Louisiana (SELA) Refuges Complex web site in the menu on the left.

Photo of an egret in a cypress tree along one of the canals at Bayou Teche NWR
© Tom Carlisle

There are eight National Wildlife Refuges in the SELA Refuges Complex. The mission of these refuges and the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of  lands and waters for the conservation, management and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations.

Each of the programs in the SELA Refuges Complex also has a page. Each of the programs is accessible from all the pages in the SELA Refuges Complex web site in a menu on the left side or near the bottom of the page.

Contact information for all the refuges can be found on the Contact Us page.

Directions to the Refuge: The refuge is located at the south edge of Franklin, LA. Franklin is approximately 55 miles from Lafayette, LA and 108 miles from New Orleans, LA. The refuge is accessible by vehicle, boat, and on foot. The refuge headquarters is located on the southwestern outskirts of Franklin, Louisiana at 1725 Willow Street.  If traveling from New Orleans on Hwy 90 (Future I-49) exit at the North Franklin Exit (Northwest Blvd.), turn right (northeast), at a 4-way stop take a right (south) onto Chatsworth Road, travel 0.35 miles, at the stop sign continue straight for approximately 1 mile, after crossing a metal swing bridge, turn east (left) onto Willow Street toward Franklin.  The Headquarters office trailer will be located on the right, approximately 1 block down. Bayou Teche NWR is managed cooperatively by staff shared with Mandalay NWR in Houma, LA. See the maps an aerial photos below for more information on the location of the refuge.

Endangered and Threatened Species on the Refuge: The American alligator and the Louisiana black bear. The Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) is relatively abundant throughout the refuge. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was de-listed as an endangered species in 1987 but remains listed as threatened due to similarity in appearance to the endangered American crocodile. The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was de-listed as a threatened species in 2007.

Other Wildlife Species: Other wildlife species of interest include wading birds, ducks and bald eagles. The refuge has partnered with Cornell University and Google to provide a link below to recent and historical reported bird sightings on the refuge. Click on the refuge name in the below gadget to see historical bird sightings on the refuge.

Habitat Description: The 9,028 acre refuge is forested with bottomland hardwoods and cypress-gum forests. The refuge was established in St. Mary Parish in 2001. The surrounding area includes oil and gas wells and canals.

Photo of a Louisiana black bear cub
Credit USFWS/Steven Reagan

Management Goals: The management goals of the refuge are to:

We accomplish our goals through habitat management, management of black bears, law enforcement and environmental education.

Opportunities for Public Use: The opportunities for public use include bird watching, wildlife observation, boating, photography, fishing and hunting, during designated seasons in accordance with applicable regulations. Please see the applicable hunting, fishing and public use brochures and maps available below.

Events: We support the Bayou Teche Bear Festival each year in April. The Black Bear Conservation Committee and many other sponsors also help make this an enjoyable and educational event every year. Check back here and on the SELA Refuge Event Calendar for more information.

Questions and Answers:

Where is the Bayou Teche NWR?

Bayou Teche NWR is located approximately two miles south of Franklin, Louisiana and adjacent to Highway 90 (Future Interstate 49). Access is by vehicle, boat and on foot.

Can I hunt on Bayou Teche NWR?

Photo of hardwood bottom land with a lush green understory
© Tom Carlisle

Yes, hunting is allowed on the refuge. This 538th National Wildlife Refuge will offer archer deer, gun deer, gun deer for youth only, small game and waterfowl hunting. All hunters must read, sign and have in their possesion a Refuge Hunt Permit as found on the front of the Hunting and Fishing Brochure. All deer hunters must also apply for and obtain lottery permits to be issued by a random computer drawing each year. Refer to both of the refuge Hunting and Fishing Brochures below for details. No unauthorized nightime use by hunters is allowed on the refuge. See the hunting hours in the brochures. Also see the applicable "News Release" links below for more details.

Is fishing allowed on Bayou Teche NWR?

Yes, recreational fishing is allowed on the refuge during daylight hours. Fishing lines must be attended at all times. Commercial fishing is not allowed. Fishing is allowed from shore and from a boat in open waterways. Fisherman must also follow all State of Louisiana regulations. There is a new boat launch and pier (2007) at the Centerville Unit.

Where can I see a Louisiana black bear?

Bayou Teche NWR is the only National Wildlife Refuge with the specific mission of managing bears. This uniquely adapted, endangered subspecies of the American black bear currently occupies much of the refuge. Although shy and most active near dusk and dawn, visitors may see individual bears at any time during their visit to the refuge.

Documents, maps, aerial photos and brochures related to the refuge can be found here.

The JPG image files will open in a new browser window. When it opens, you can click on the image to view it full size.

Document Name
Click to Open or Download
Refuge Map
Map of the Refuge
Download refuge map here
Refuge Fact Sheet
Additional information about the refuge
Download refuge fact sheet here
Refuge Hunting and Fishing Brochure
Refuge regulations and hunting permit. Questions? Contact
Download hunting regulations part 1 here
Bayou Teche NWR Aerial Photo
Aerial photo of refuge with approximate refuge boundaries
Download 2007 - 2008 hunting news release here here
Centerville Unit Aerial Photo
Aerial photo of unit with approximate unit boundaries
Download 2007 - 2008 hunting news release here here
Franklin Unit Aerial Photo
Aerial photo of unit with approximate unit boundaries
Download 2007 - 2008 hunting news release here here
Garden City and Bayou Sale Units Aerial Photo
Aerial photo of unit with approximate unit boundaries
Download 2007 - 2008 hunting news release here here
North Bend East & West Units Aerial Photo
Aerial photo of unit with approximate unit boundaries
Download 2007 - 2008 hunting news release here here
Refuge Boundary File

This File will load on your Google Earth TM software and your Google App TM on your smartphone

While the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service makes every effort to represent the data shown on these maps as completely and accurately as possible (given existing time and resource constraints), the USFWS gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data. In addition, the USFWS shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein. Graphical representations provided by the use of this data do not represent any legal description of the data herein and are provided only as a general representation of the data.

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Download 2007 - 2008 hunting news release here here

Last Updated on September 29, 2016