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Visitor Activities

It's always a good time to visit a National Wildlife Refuge!

  • Hunting


    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage.  Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

    Hunting on Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge is limited to youth waterfowl hunting. Click on the link provided to download and print the regulations brochure. For additional questions, please contact our office at (985) 882-2000 or e-mail the refuge manager.

    Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations

  • Fishing


    There are great opportunities for fishing and crabbing on Bayou Sauvage NWR. Freshwater lagoons, bayous and ponds serve as production areas for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and crawfish. The marshes along Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne serve as estuarine nurseries for fish and crabs. Non-commercial fishing, crabbing, and crawfishing are permitted year round; some restrictions apply. Be sure to review the refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations.

    Learn more by checking out the Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge. 

  • Wildlife Viewing


    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge! 

    Proximity to the City of New Orleans provides a unique opportunity for thousands of visitors each year to observe wildlife. Prospects for bird watching on the refuge are plentiful, with a boardwalk and levee trail at the Ridge Trail site on U.S. Hwy 90, and another boardwalk and non-motorized boat launch at the Madere Marsh unit, just a quarter mile southeast of the Ridge Trail.

    Madere Marsh is one of the best locations on the refuge to view alligators. The lush marsh grasses not only provide excellent habitat for the alligator population, but are also a haven for migratory birds and waterfowl. The viewing area at the end of the short boardwalk offers an excellent vantage point amid the lush grasses for viewing a variety of birds. 

    For more information about wildlife observation opportunities at 
    Bayou Sauvage NWR, click on the links provided or contact our administrative office at (985) 882-2000.  
  • Interpretation


    Interpretive programs at Bayou Sauvage NWR provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided walks and ranger-led programs help visitors learn more about native wildlife and habitats.

    Staff and volunteers present information to audiences using a variety of exhibits, signs, brochures, and electronic media to communicate the refuge’s rich natural history. Topics include plants and animals, seasonal migrations, habitats, refuge management strategies, and endangered species.

  • Environmental Education


    Formal environmental education programs, which allow students to experience learning in a natural setting, are offered year round on the refuge. Targeted for various age groups, these programs allow a first-hand encounter with aspects of the refuge’s ecology and wildlife. Classroom visits by refuge rangers or trained volunteers may also be arranged. Schools and other organized groups should contact the refuge at least two weeks in advance for reservations.

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology native to this area? Check out our For Educators page or contact our Environmental Education staff to check on program availability: or (985) 882-2000. 

  • Photography

    Marsh Habitat

    Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and national wildlife refuges naturally are at the top of the list.  Refuges provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing platforms, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas, and tour routes.  Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the Refuge System.  We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures!

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2017
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