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Located approximately 26 miles south of Sulphur, Louisiana, Sabine National Wildlife Refuge has numerous recreation areas where you can fish, crab or take a hike. Whether you are looking for an alligator to photograph or just a place to stretch your legs, the Wetland Walkway is always an adventure.

Activities

Hunting, Fishing, Hiking and Wildlife Observation and Photography are all popular activities on Sabine NWR.

Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage.  Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs. As practiced on refuges, hunting, and fishing do not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances are necessary for sound wildlife management. Hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the refuge system.

HUNTING

Alligator

The alligator season generally occurs in September, after hatching season, but prior to winter hibernation. The season is set by LDWF and may vary slightly depending on the duration of the nesting season. The refuge harvest follows state regulations, but may be more restrictive under certain conditions. A limited number of alligator hunters are selected through a lottery drawing every three years.

Waterfowl

Hunting of ducks, geese, gallinules and coots is permitted in designated areas of the refuge during the waterfowl seasons set by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. All hunters are required to have a refuge-issued permit.

Two ducks on the water at Sabine NWR

Waterfowl hunt scouting, waterfowl general hunt. Each hunting party is required to complete a harvest report listing numbers and species of game taken. Forms may be placed in designated check station drop boxes after each hunt or delivered to the refuge complex office at Cameron Prairie NWR.

Waterfowl hunt scouting is permitted during the entire fishing season (Mar 15-Oct 15) & Mon-Fri during the week prior to Louisiana’s coastal zone duck and coot season starts. Waterfowl general hunting is available Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday during the Louisiana coastal zone duck and coot season, and September teal season. Designated areas only. Closed Fridays.

CFR Entries: Title 50 Volume 6 Chapter 1 Parts 18-199 Code of Federal Regulations. All hunting is in accordance with applicable state licensing and regulations, unless otherwise stated in refuge specific regulations.

 

FISHING

All recreational anglers must possess a valid, basic Louisiana fishing license. Additionally, all recreational anglers fishing south of the state designated 'saltwater line' for saltwater species must have in their possession a Louisiana saltwater angler's license, as well as their basic Louisiana fishing license.

Fishing is permitted with rod and reel or pole and line, as well as jug fishing in designated areas on Sabine National Wildlife Refuge.

Anglers seeking freshwater fishing opportunities should try the interior waters of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. Those anglers seeking saltwater fish should utilize Sabine's roadside recreation area wharfs and tidal marshes.

Crabbing

No license is required to recreationally crab with a crab net and/or hand line.

Cast Netting

Each person is required to have a valid, basic fishing license as well as a saltwater license to cast net for shrimp. (Sabine is south of the state designated saltwater line.) Cast nets must be less than 8.5 feet in radius. Recreational cast netting for shrimp is only permitted via boat during Louisiana inshore water shrimp season.

Possession Limits

Daily fish limits are the same as Louisiana's sport fishing limits. The daily crab limit is five dozen per day per vehicle or boat. The daily shrimp limit during the Louisiana inshore shrimp season is five gallons of heads-on shrimp per day, per vehicle or boat. The daily bait shrimp limit is one gallon per day per boat.

Universal Access

Several universally accessible fishing docks are available at Sabine NWR. For further assistance contact our Refuge Complex office at 337-598-2216.

Fishing, Crabbing, Cast netting, Shrimping

Crabs caught and kept in a water tub
  • Recreational fishing with rod and reel, pole and line, and/or jug lines is permitted. Jug line fishing is permitted in designated waterways open to fishing. It is prohibited inside Units 1A, 1B and 3. Jugs are limited to 10 per boat and must be attended at all times. All jugs must be marked with the attendants fishing license number and must be removed from the refuge daily. The use or possession of any other type of fishing gear including, limb and trot lines, and gill, trammel, and hoop nets, are prohibited in all refuge waters. The daily fish limits are the same as Louisiana’s sport fishing limits.
  • Northline Recreational Area: Fishing and crabbing, year-round, sunrise to sunset.
    Hog Island Cully: Fishing and crabbing, year-round, sunrise to sunset.

    Blue Crab: Fishing and crabbing, year-round, sunrise to sunset.
    West Cove: Fishing and crabbing, year-round, sunrise to sunset.
    Interior bayous, canals and ponds: Fishing and crabbing, March 15 through October 15, sunrise to sunset. Cast netting for shrimp from a boat, Louisiana inshore shrimp season, sunrise to sunset. Cast netting for bait from a boat. Louisiana’s inshore shrimp season is one gallon, from March 15 through October 15, sunrise to sunset.
  • Title 50 Volume 6 Chapter 1 Parts 18-199 Code of Federal Regulations. All fishing, crabbing, and cast-netting on refuges are in accordance with applicable state licenses. Individuals utilizing the refuges are subject to inspections of licenses, fishing equipment, daily limits, boats, vehicles and their contents by federal and state officers. No license is required to recreationally crab with a crab net and/or hand line. See refuge specific regulations for crabbing opportunities. Each person is required to have basic and saltwater licenses to cast net for shrimp. Cast nets must be less than 8.5 feet in radius. Recreational cast netting for shrimp is only permitted during the Louisiana inshore water shrimp season. See refuge specific regulations for additional information. Daily fish limits are the same as Louisiana’s sport fishing limits. The daily crab limit is five dozen per day per vehicle or boat. The daily shrimp limit during the Louisiana inshore shrimp season is five gallons of heads-on shrimp per day, per vehicle or boat. The daily bait shrimp limit is one gallon per day per boat.

WILDLIFE VIEWING AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Scenic Overlooks

In cooperation with the Creole Nature Trail All American Road, the refuge maintains a roadside 'Scenic Overlook' along State Highway 27. This area allows visitors on the refuge to stop and observe coastal marsh habitat and the wildlife inhabiting it without having to leave their vehicle.

Trails

There are two wildlife observation trails on the refuge, one in a freshwater impoundment and another in coastal brackish/saline marsh.

The Wetland Walkway is a one-and-a-half mile trail and boardwalk located approximately four miles south of the refuge office with parking and facilities near State Highway 27. It provides opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. There is a boardwalk over the impounded freshwater marsh of Unit 1B and wildlife can frequently be seen crossing the trail. The trail also features a raised observation tower that affords spectacular views especially at sundown when the western sky frames acres of grassy marsh. Visitors can see wading birds, waterfowl, alligator, rabbits, armadillos, muskrat, nutria, nesting birds, butterflies, and migrant songbirds during various times of the year from the trail. The trail is open year-round from dawn until dusk.

The Blue Goose Trail is located along State Highway 27 just north of the refuge office and features parking and a wildlife observation platform. Wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diamond backed terrapins, and many other brackish/saline marsh and shoreline species may be seen along the trail. The trail is open year-round from dawn until dusk.

Sabine NWR also offers hikers two pedestrian hiking trails.
The Blue Goose Trail and the Wetland Walkway offer a variety of wildlife viewing and photography opportunities to refuge visitors.

Photography

Wildlife photography is permitted at designated roadside and recreation areas and in the interior refuge canals and marshes.
Wildlife photography is permitted year round at designated roadside and recreation areas. Interior refuge canals and marshes are open to photography from March 15 to October 15.
 

A older gentleman on a walkway at Sabine NWR with a 35 millimeter camera in hand looking for his next subject to photograph

 

Birding

Southwest Louisiana Complex Birds List

Great White Egret and White Ibis standing and feeding in shallow waters
  • Several species of native and migratory birds may be photographed. There is no special permit required to observe or photograph birds on the refuge.
  • Birding is permitted year round, from dawn until dusk.
A Man on a gravel road bird watching with a scope on a tripod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog walking

All pets must be on a leash at all times when on the refuge.
Pets are allowed on the Blue Goose Trail and Wetland Walkway, as well as roadside recreation areas, year round, dawn until dusk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving Directions to all major entrances:

From Points West: I-10 Eastbound, Exit 20 -- LA1256 Sulphur, Cameron. Head south for approximately 26 miles. Observe Sabine NWR signs.

From Points East: I-10 Westbound, Exit 20 – LA1256 Sulphur, Cameron. Head south for approximately 26 miles. Observe Sabine NWR signs. 

Trails

There are two wildlife observation trails on the refuge, one in a freshwater impoundment and another in coastal brackish/saline marsh.

The Wetland Walkway is a one-and-a-half mile trail and boardwalk located approximately four miles south of the refuge office with parking and facilities near State Highway 27. It provides opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. There is a boardwalk over the impounded freshwater marsh of Unit 1B and wildlife can frequently be seen crossing the trail. The trail also features a raised observation tower that affords spectacular views especially at sundown when the western sky frames acres of grassy marsh. Visitors can see wading birds, waterfowl, alligator, rabbits, armadillos, muskrat, nutria, nesting birds, butterflies, and migrant songbirds during various times of the year. The trail is open year-round from dawn until dusk.

Wetland Walkway Sign at Sabine NWR

The Blue Goose Trail is located along State Highway 27 just north of the refuge office and features parking and a wildlife observation platform. Wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diamond backed terrapins, and many other brackish/saline marsh and shoreline species may be seen along the trail. The trail is open year-round from dawn until dusk.

Related Documents

Please view the Brochures which includes Maps and great information about the refuge.

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge General Brochure

Located in Cameron Parish in the southwest corner of Louisiana, Sabine National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 560 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Wetland Walkway Brochure

This one and one-half mile trail is open to the public daily from official sunrise to official sunset. Along the trail you will encounter many types of vegetation and wildlife which will acquaint you with a Gulf Coast marsh and its inhabitants. Allow yourself about two hours to walk the trail....

Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex Bird List

This list of birds recorded on the Complex includes 313 species, of which 22 are incidentals, very rarely seen on the Complex with only one or two sightings. This checklist has been designed to be informative and simple to use. The list is arranged in the order established by the American...

Southwest Louisiana NWR Complex Fishing and Boating Regulations

Important rules and regulations for those wishing to engage in fishing, crabbing, and similar activities on Cameron Prairie, Lacassine, Sabine and Shell Keys National Wildlife Refuges.

Southwest Louisiana Hunt Regulations Brochure

Hunting Regulations 2022 - 2023 for Cameron Prairie, Lacassine, and Sabine NWR's

Hunting regulations are designed to protect the sportsman and wildlife populations. Hunting seasons open on the Complex are listed in this brochure. The regulations within this brochure...

Other Facilities in the Complex

The Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of four federal wildlife refuges located in southwest Louisiana: Cameron Prairie, Sabine, Lacassine, and Shell Keys. Each of these national wildlife refuges was created to support, protect, and provide winter habitat for migratory waterfowl. These refuges are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which is a national network of lands consisting of more than 560 refuges and thousands of waterfowl production areas throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories, all of which are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The more than 184,000 acres of land contained within boundaries of the four National Wildlife Refuges in southwest Louisiana supports numerous species of both plants and wildlife. The Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex offers a multitude of opportunities for you and your family to learn more about and enjoy these national wildlife refuges.

For additional information about Cameron PrairieLacassineSabine and Shell Keys National Wildlife Refuges contact us at:

Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex
1428 Highway 27 
Bell City LA 70630
337-598-2216
Email: SWLRComplex@fws.gov

Rules and Policies

Rules and information pertaining to the Sabine NWR

Locations

Sabine National Wildlife Refuge
3000 Holly Beach Highway Hackberry, LA 70645-5515