Visitor Activities

View of a boardwalk nature trail and interpretive sign
  • Fishing

    female blue crab

    The marshes provide excellent spawning and nursing habitat for many species of freshwater fish. The largest open water area is Lake Hatch. This shallow lake is a popular place to fish for bass, crappie, bream, and catfish.

    Recreational fishing and recreational crabbing are allowed on the Refuge during daylight hours subject to Louisiana state regulations and limits. 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.

  • Hunting

    Mottled Duck at water's edge with marsh grass in the background

    Deer and hog archery hunting and waterfowl hunting are allowed on the Refuge. Hunters must abide by Louisiana state regulations. All hunters must read, sign, and have in their possession a signed copy of the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations.

    Find out more about hunting the refuge here

  • Wildlife Viewing and Photography

    View of a boardwalk nature trail into the marsh

    The nature trail just west of the Refuge field office off of Hwy. 182 is the best place to view wildlife without a boat. This 3/4 mile long out and back nature trail will take you through various habitats to a boardwalk over wetlands and a wetland overlook. Look for shorebirds, waterfowl, and alligators from the observation point at the end of the trail. Access to trail is located at the end of a gravel road, .7 miles west of the Refuge field office on the south side of Bayou Black Drive (Hwy 182).