Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most undisturbed wild swamplands in the country. Over 90% of the refuge can flood during winter and spring high river periods, creating a labyrinth of sloughs, bayous and lakes. Unique plant and animal communities adapted to the seasonal floods of the Mississippi Delta area thrive here. This landscape of large meandering, unchanneled rivers is home for the threatened ringed sawback turtle and the Gulf sturgeon. The refuge has 860 upland acres of loblolly and slash pine forest, which provides habitat for the threatened gopher tortoise.

High Water Forces Closure on Refuge

Feb. 5 2024- Due to high water Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge is now closed to camping and all hunting, except for waterfowl hunting until water levels recede. This closure is to protect wildlife and for the safety of refuge visitors. Waters levels are expected to remain at or above 15.5 feet for the next several days.  Boaters are advised to use extreme caution during high river levels. Camping and established hunting seasons will resume when water levels drop below 15.5 feet at the gauge at Pearl River.

River levels on the Pearl River can be checked at this link.

For more information, please contact the refuge headquarters at 985-882-2000.

Visit Us

Located along the Louisiana-Mississippi line approximately 40 miles north of New Orleans, the refuge encompasses 36,500 acres of the Pearl River Basin, most of which is accessible only by boat. The refuge is a popular place to enjoy fishing, hunting, paddling, bird watching and nature photography. There is a family-friendly disabled-accessible fishing area and picnic pavilion located at the Pearl River Turnaround in Louisiana. The Jim Schmidt Interpretive Boardwalk at this location explores a classic flood plain cypress forest. Several free boat launches provide access to the refuge from Louisiana and Mississippi.




Boat Launches

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge conserves bottomland hardwood forest habitat, which has significantly diminished in the Mississippi River Delta over the last century. The refuge provides habitat for species of concern such as the Gulf sturgeon, gopher tortoise, the ringed sawback turtle, and the swallow-tailed kite.  

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      is established, to the recreational activities offered, to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.   

      Our Species

      Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most undisturbed wild swamplands in the country. Unique plant and animal communities adapted to the seasonal floods of the Mississippi Delta area thrive here. 

      A turtle with a yellow and black pattern on it's neck basking on a rock

      The ringed sawback turtle is small. Each shield of its upper shell (carapace) has a yellow ring bordered inside and outside with dark olive-brown: its undershell (plastron) is yellow. The head has a large yellow spot behind the eye, two yellow stripes from the orbit backwards, and a...

      FWS Focus

      Our Library

      Resources for Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge.

      Southeast Louisiana Refuges Annual User Brochure and Regulations

      Southeast Louisiana Refuges public use regulations

      Projects and Research

      Refuge staff use a variety of resource management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plants and wildlife and the habitats they rely on. Prescribed burning and controlling 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
      are key ways we help native plants and wildlife to thrive on the refuge.