Visitor Activities

Two men fishing in a small boar, one man is smiling and waving while holding up a fish

Boating, fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching are popular activities at Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). You must carry a Refuge permit with you when hunting, fishing, or camping on the Refuge.

  • New Hunt/Fish Opportunities

    The New Hunt Program Changes, August 31, 2020.

    Bogue Chitto NWR has made changes to the hunt program in the Final 2020-2021 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations process. Please follow the below link to the Rules, Regulations, and Improved Access web site to see final planning and compliance documents for the hunt program changes:

    We're proposing new hunting opportunities at Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana and Mississippi. With increased access comes increased responsibility. Public lands are your lands, but it's imperative to follow state and local regulations and guidance from the CDC.

    See Video Link:

    Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge - Hunt/Fish Rule

  • Fishing

    family at youth fishing rodeo

    Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish are the primary species caught in the Refuges' oxbow and overflow lakes, the East and West Pearl Rivers, and the Bogue Chitto River. Sloughs along the Bogue Chitto can provide excellent fishing for catfish and gar. Fishing access is generally by boat — the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers maintains several boat launches available to the public for access to the river system and the refuge. Recreational fishing is permitted year round in accordance with State regulations and subject to special conditions. All anglers must read, sign, and have in their possession a Refuge Hunting/ Fishing/Camping Permit. 

    There is a family friendly and disabled-access fishing pond located at the Pearl River Turnaround Access Site at Exit 11 on Interstate 59 north of Pearl River. This is the location of an annual Youth Fishing Rodeo in early June.

  • Hunting

    Turkey hunter with a tom turkey

    Upland game, deer, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, waterfowl, and hog hunting are allowed subject to State approved season and regulation. Hunters must review and abide by state regulations for the state in which they hunt. All hunters must read, sign, and have in their possession a Refuge Hunting/ Fishing/Camping Permit.

    Learn More
  • Wildlife Viewing

    Raptor nest in a tree

    The Refuge provides nesting, wintering and breeding habitat for nearly 200 species of birds, with neotropical migrants typically seen in the fall and spring. To learn more about where to birdwatch at the Refuge and what birds may be seen, click on this link

    A family-friendly fishing access at the Pearl River Turn Around Fishing Pond has a boardwalk nature trail through the forest.  Look for alligators, wading birds and ducks at this site.

    To provide optimal wildlife viewing and fishing, non-gas powered craft only are allowed in this fishing pond at the Pearl River Turnaround Fishing Access Site when it is open.

  • Photography

    View of an egret rookery

    Watch for the spectacular swallow-tailed kites, which nest at the Refuge. The best time to look for kites is from April through August.

    The cattle egret and little blue heron rookeries at the Pearl River Turnaround Fishing Access Site are excellent places for wildlife photography. One rookery is on a small island, easily viewed from an accessible fishing platform. Another rookery, located on the east side of the lake has white ibis as well as egrets and herons.

  • Interpretation

    Boardwalk trail through a bottomland hardwood forest flooded with water

    The Holmes Bayou Trail, a 1.4 mile-long out and back hiking trail on the Louisiana side of the Refuge, gives hikers a unique view of the Pearl River Basin habitat and ends with a view of the bayou. The Jim Schmidt Interpretive Boardwalk at the Pearl River Turnaround Fishing Access Site, provides a view of a classic flood plain cypress forest.