Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Facts About Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

PDF iconDownload this information in our fact sheet


Established: 1997

  • Established as an overlay refuge with a free, 99-year management lease on Black Bayou Lake through a unique partnership with the City of Monroe.
  • Approximately 4,600 acres in size (6,000 acres in approved acquisition boundary).

Natural History

  • The existing refuge consists of pristine wetlands associated with a 1600-acre, shallow, cypress-studded lake, riparian areas, upland mixed pine and hardwoods, and reforested former agricultural fields.
  • The area provides excellent habitat for wetland-dependent fish and wildlife such as waterfowl, wading birds, neotropical migrants, reptiles, and game fish.

Refuge Objectives

  • Protect and enhance habitat for endangered species, waterfowl, neotropical migrants, and resident wildlife.
  • Provide environmental education/ interpretation in a semi-urban setting.
  • Provide high quality recreational fishing and hunting opportunities.
  • Protect the long-term water quality of Black Bayou Lake.

Management Tools

  • Forest management including reforestation.
  • Public education/interpretation.
  • Public fishing and hunting.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Partnerships and volunteer program.
  • Control of invasive exotics.


  • Visitor Center for North Louisiana Refuges Complex
  • Conservation Learning Center with Discovery Room and Aquarium Room
  • Arboretum with nearly 150 labeled Louisiana native tree and woody shrub species
  • Prairie Demonstration Area
  • Nature Trail, Wildlife Pier and Amphitheater/pavilion
  • Raised Observation Deck
  • Photo Blind
  • Boat Launch
  • Resident volunteer RV sites




Fronds of bright red, orange and green cypress

Fiery Cypress, © Charles H. Heck. See photo at Friends of Black Bayou Lake.

A white egret stands reflected in brown wetland water

An egret and its reflection. Photo ©Burg Ransom.

A copperhead snake sits coiled and camoflauged among brown leaves

Copperhead in Leaves, © John Carr. See photo at Friends of Black Bayou Lake.


Last updated: November 15, 2011