Visitor Activities

Man steering an outboard motorboat
  • Fishing

    two children holding a catfish

    Fishing is a popular activity along the bayous, ponds, marshes, and lakeshore of the Refuge. Many people enjoy crabbing, crawfishing, and fishing along Lake Rd., where there is shoreline fishing, a fishing pier, and a boat launch. Recreational fishing, crawfishing and crabbing are permitted from 30 minutes before legal sunrise to 30 minutes after legal sunset, except we allow night fishing, crabbing, and crawfishing from the bank and pier on Lake Road. Lake Ponchartrain is an estuary, providing a mix of salinity that favors both marine and freshwater species in different places and at various times due to wind and weather. The lake, marshes, and bayous can yield bass, speckled trout, redfish, catfish, bream, sac-a-lait, and pogies

  • Hunting

    A man wearing hip waders holding a brace of waterfowl

    Big Branch Marsh provides unique waterfowl, small game, and deer hunting opportunities. For seasons and regulations on Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge download and print the regulations brochure at upper left sidebar. Sign and carry this free permit when hunting on the Refuge.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    A woman looking through binoculars at the marsh

    With over five miles of walking trails at Boy Scout Road and almost four miles of more primitive trails near Paquet Road, Sapsucker Road, and at the end of Lucille Road — and miles of bayous, lakeshore and marshes — you are bound to spot wildlife. Watch for waterfowl, shorebirds, neotropical migratory birds, alligators, otters, and deer. Learn more about the Refuge's birding hot spots and check out the latest observations on Ebird at this link.

    Download the Refuge Brochure/Map of the Refuge at the upper left sidebar to learn more about public access sites on the Refuge.

  • Interpretation

    A ranger talking with children

    From self-guided interpretive trails to ranger-led programs, we'll help you learn more about the wildlife and habitat behind the landscapes. Follow us on Facebook to get notice of our upcoming tours and interpretive programs. Check out our FREE Bayou Lacombe Visitor Center open Thursdays- Saturdays 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. for hands-on exhibits, a bookstore, and Junior Ranger programs.

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  • Environmental Education

    two children sitting on a log in the woods writing on a data sheet

    Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge provides a unique and exciting outdoor classroom environment that supports STEM education with hands-on learning activities.

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology? Contact us to learn about program availability and reservation policies. Call 985/882-2021 or email for more information.

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