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Visitor Activities

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The Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge’s mix of scenic bayous, owbox lakes, swamps, and bottomland hardwood forest is a great place to hunt, fish, bird watch, paddle, or just plain enjoy the scenery.

 

 

  • Hunting

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    Hunting is permitted on the Sherburne Wildlife Management Unit for white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, woodcock, turkey, and waterfowl. Hunting is subject to Louisiana state licensing and regulations. A self-clearing permit is required to hunt on the Refuge, and can be obtained at kiosks along the entrance roads.

  • Fishing

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    Sportfishing is open year round, subject to Louisiana state licensing and regulations. Largemouth bass, white and black crappie, bluegill, warmouth, red ear sunfish, and channel catfish are the primary species caught. See upper left sidebar for Louisiana fishing regulations. There is a fish consumption advisory in Big Alabama Bayou, due to high mercury levels found in fish. Pregnant women and children are cautioned against eating fish caught in this area. For more information on fish consumption advisories refer to the Louisiana Department of Health's website for health advisories on fish consumption.

  • Wildlife Viewing

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    The old Big Alabama Bridge at the intersection of Happytown and Bayou Manuel roads has been converted into a wildlife viewing area.

    More than 300 species of resident and migratory birds use the Refuge. Neotropical birds abound during the spring and fall migrations. Each winter several thousand waterfowl make their home on the Refuge. The NWR has been noted as an internationally important bird area by the American Bird Conservancy because of its value as a key breeding site for the wood thrush, swallow – tailed kite, prothnotary warbler, and other bird species. The Refuge is part of America’s Wetland Birding Trail. Download a bird list here. 

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  • Paddling

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    For information about paddle trails in the Atchafalaya Basin visit the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area website.

  • Interpretation/Hiking/Biking

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    The old Big Alabama Bridge at the intersection of Happytown and Bayou Manuel roads has been converted into a wildlife viewing area with interpretive displays. A nature trail at the end of Section 120 Rd offers a chance to hike. Hiking and fat tire bicycling are also possible along the levees and ATV trails. Be aware and wear blaze orange during fall hunting season.

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: May 11, 2017
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