Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1989 to provide valuable waterfowl habitat in the Mississippi/Red River floodplain as part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Due to its location in east-central Louisiana, the refuge is influenced by both the Mississippi and Central Flyways and the large expanses of shallow wetlands draw a diversity of waterfowl species.
Although Northern pintails, mallards, wood ducks, and green-winged teal are the dominant species, blue-winged teal, northern shovelers, gadwall and American wigeon are also common during the fall and winter months. Large numbers of snow and white-fronted geese winter on the refuge. During the spring and summer months, a variety of migratory songbirds utilize the bayous, scattered forested tracts, and shallow marsh habitat. Numerous native species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and insects are common residents of the refuge.