Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge

What We Do

The majority of active wildlife and habitat management on Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge involves invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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control and forest management.  Staff use a variety of tools and partnerships to accomplish management goals while maintaining public access for hunting, fishing, photography, paddling, wildlife observation, hiking, and more.  

Management and Conservation

Staff use a variety of tools to manage wildlife and habitat on Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Forest Management

Refuge staff monitors the forest for reforestation survival, condition, forest structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish…

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and integrity. To ensure habitat is optimal for priority species, refuge staff may prescribe treatment to the forest to reach desired forest conditions. Treatments may include the thinning of trees to promote regeneration, understory structure for nesting songbirds and browse for resident wildlife.

Invasive Species Management

Several invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
threaten the Refuge.  Aquatic invaders such as giant salvinia, water hyacinth, Cuban bulrush, and alligatorweed are major threats to the lake itself while Chinese tallowtree and Chinese privet threaten the forests.  

Our Services

Please check the Facebook page for updated hours of operation for the buildings since they are subject to change due to volunteer availability.  The rest of the Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year.  Numerous walking trails, an observation deck, and photo blind are available to the public for use along with a boat ramp and kayak/canoe launch.  Please email blackbayoulake@fws.gov with questions about using the facilities for groups or requesting programs.

Our Projects and Research

Most research on the refuge is conducted by professors and their students from nearby University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). Current and recent research includes nest success and recruitment of alligator snapping turtles, sampling of benthic macroinvertebrates, and surveys of invertebrate prey for game fish. Data collected by staff include breeding bird, waterfowl, and alligator surveys. 

Law Enforcement

To report a wildlife crime or incident to law enforcement, please call or text our refuge officers at 318-355-6842 or 318-351-4965.  You can also call the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries 24 hour line at 1-800-442-2511.

Laws and Regulations

Please see the Public Use Regulations Brochure for information on hunting on the Refuge.