Visitor Activities


Whether you enjoy paddling, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, or hunting – Bayou Teche NWR has an outdoor recreation opportunity for you!

  • Fishing


    Fishing is always good at Bayou Teche, catching is dependent upon season, weather, and water levels. Fishing for large mouth bass and bream can be excellent in spring and fall. Recreational fishing is allowed on the Refuge during daylight hours, from shore and from boat in open waterways. Fishing lines must be attended at all times – unattended trot, bush, or jug lines are not allowed. Net and trap or commercial fishing is not allowed. Visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website for information on fishing regulations.

  • Hunting


    Deer, waterfowl, and small game hunting are allowed on the Refuge. More about hunting the Refuge at this link.

    Hunters must abide by Louisiana state regulations. Visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' website for more information. All hunters must read, sign, and have in their possession a signed copy of the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge Public Use Regulations. NOTE: The Franklin Unit is closed to hunting.

  • Paddling


    The Refuge’s paddling trails are a great way to access the Refuge and enjoy the bayou. The Franklin Unit of the Refuge is closed to motorized boats between September 1 and April 15 and features three paddle trails: The Alligator Canal, Black Bear Canal, and Wood Duck Canal. These trails follow old logging canals and provide a peaceful wildlife viewing experience in the Refuge. Access is from the Fairfax Foster Bailey Boat Landing located under Hwy. 90 in Franklin.

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  • Hiking and Birding


    There are several trails that will give you a taste of Bayou Teche habitats and a chance to enjoy and photograph wildlife. Bird-watching from the levee trails can be excellent during the spring migration. Locals tip - during the wet season knee high mud boots can come in handy. Note: Hiking trails are open to hikers February 1 - September 30. For safety reasons most hiking trails are closed during hunting season. An exception is the Garden City Interpretive Boardwalk Trail, which will remain open in the fall.

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