High Water - Refuge Closure March 6, 2021


"The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise..."
- Mark Twain



Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is not protected by levees and is subject to seasonal and sometimes annual flooding by the Mississippi River. This flooding typically occurs from November - April, but is subject to change — flooding is often seen outside of this time frame.

Water levels at the Mississippi River gauge in Baton Rouge have exceeded 24 feet, forcing a closure of Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge. To protect refuge visitors, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is closing the Refuge to all activities until the river recedes to a level in which roads can be cleared, repaired and reopened to the public. This closure will be effective Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 7 p.m.  

Water levels are expected to remain at or above 24 feet for at least the next 28 days in March. Visitation will resume when the river has fallen to a level suitable for opening.

We will post the re-opening on the Refuge website as soon as we know an opening date.

You can check Mississippi River levels at the Baton Rouge river gauge at the National Weather Service website here    or call 301/427-9855.

For more information, please contact the refuge office at 985/882-2000.