High Water Forces Closure on Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge

Water levels on the Mississippi River have exceeded 24 feet at the Baton Rouge tide gauge forcing a closure at the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is closing the refuge to all activities until the river has fallen to a level suitable for opening.  Occasionally, this action is required due to weather conditions that influence Mississippi river levels.

Access to the refuge will resume when the river has fallen to a level suitable for opening.

River levels on the Baton Rouge tide gauge can be checked at: https://www.weather.gov/lmrfc/obsfcst_mississippi or through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at 301/427-9855.

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

Located near the town of St. Francisville, Louisiana, 30 miles north of Baton Rouge, Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge conserves some of the region's last naturally functioning bottomland hardwood forest habitat. The Mississippi River carved this unique landscape of ridges and swales, cypress-tupelo swamps, meandering drains and backwater sloughs. These features coupled with annual flooding provide highly productive habitat for diverse fish and wildlife including backwater fisheries, migratory songbirds, wintering waterfowl, Louisiana black bear, and other resident wildlife.

Visit Us

Visitors enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing, and wildlife photography and observation. The refuge is home to a national champion bald cypress, one of the largest tree of any species east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Estimated to be about 1,500 years old, the tree is 96 feet tall, 17 feet in diameter and 56 feet in circumference. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Cat Island is located near the town of St. Francisville, Louisiana, 30 miles north of Baton Rouge. The refuge was established to conserve, restore, and manage native forested wetland habitats for migratory birds, aquatic resources and endangered and threatened plants and animals. 

      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

      Wood Duck
      FWS Focus
      gray squirrel
      Eastern Gray Squirrel
      fox squirrel
      Eastern Fox Squirrel