Facility Activities

The refuge is popular for big and small game hunting - deer, squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl and woodcock. Feral swine may be taken with legal firearms or archery equipment during any open hunting season. The refuge is known for its abundant squirrel population.  It’s often reported that hunters can easily harvest a bag limit within 30 minutes due to the many squirrels on the refuge.  

The refuge is open for fishing year-round except during quota deer hunts. The Mississippi River is a popular fishing spot for bank anglers.  The refuge offers fishing on three ponds, which are open year round, except during annual quota primitive firearms and quota gun hunts.

Bird watchers, photographers and other visitors may enjoy the refuges' Blackfork Hiking Trail or the Big Cypress hiking trail where you can enjoy a walk to view the champion bald cypress tree. The fall and spring migrations bring many songbirds and wading birds to the refuge. Summer months are a good time to observe large numbers of wading and shorebirds.   Be on the lookout for wading birds, turtles and alligators as you drive along the refuge road. You may also explore Cat Island by canoe, kayak, or other hand-launched boat.  

Hunters will find healthy deer and squirrel populations on 13,000 acres of the cypress swamp and bottomland hardwood forest that make up Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge. There are 9,796 acres open to hunting. Deer hunters can choose from a general-access archery hunt or lottery firearms...

Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is subject to Louisiana state fishing regulations and is open for fishing year-round, except during quota deer hunts. The refuge provides a variety of fishing opportunities. Species include largemouth bass, catfish, garfish and bream.  Natural sloughs and...

The refuge has two hiking trails which are closed to hunting. The most popular and easiest hike is the Big Cypress Trail which goes to a giant bald cypress tree. The refuge has three ATV trails which are open to all users and are frequented by hunters and anglers. 

Trail Etiquette...

Refuge users can launch their boats, kayaks, or canoes from the primitive boat ramp located at the head of the blue goose ATV trail.  When the refuge is flooded, visitors can enjoy a unique journey winding through beautiful cypress-tupelo swamps. Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is...

Colonial Water Birds

Species commonly observed on the refuge include great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, and white ibises. Birders may also see little blue herons, tricolored herons, cattle egrets, green herons, black-crowned night-herons, yellow-crowned night-herons, roseate...