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.

Boy holds  grand prize boot as FWS employee holds some of the items he won
Sign Up Now for Kids Fishing Rodeo!

Young anglers ages four to 12 years are invited to join the Youth Fishing Rodeo at Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge on June 11 in Pearl River. The rodeo encourages both novice and experienced anglers. For beginners, there will be mentors on hand to help with casting and provide fishing tips. The event takes place at the Jim Schmidt Boardwalk Trailhead/fishing access site at exit 11 on I-59 north. 

Children can enjoy a morning of bank fishing at the refuge’s fishing pond, complete with the chance to win prizes. Tournament fishing starts at 7:30 a.m. and finishes at 11 a.m. Participating children must be accompanied by an adult and be able to hold their own fishing pole. Registered children get a T-shirt, rod-and-reel, tackle, bait, and the whole family gets lunch. The cost to register is $20 per child, and financial aid is available to assist with the registration fee if needed.

Register online at


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.

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. 

      American Alligator
      Florida alligator
      Mississippi alligator
      Louisiana alligator
      The American alligator is a large, semi-aquatic, armored reptile that is related to crocodiles. Their body alone ranges from 6 - 14 feet long. Almost black in color, the it has prominent eyes and nostrils with coarse scales over the entire body. It has a large, long head with visible upper teeth...
      FWS Focus
      ringed sawback turtle
      Ringed Map Turtle
      Ringed Sawback
      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 characteristic...
      FWS Focus

      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.