Visitor Activities

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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.

  • Fishing

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    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

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    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.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

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    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 Access Site provides an excellent view of an egret rookery.

    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

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    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

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    The Holmes Bayou Trail, a 3/4 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.

    *Please note, the Jim Schmidt Interpretive Boardwalk was damaged by high water in spring of 2016 and is currently closed for repairs.