A child proudly holding up their fish harvest

Available species include catfish, largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, buffalo, carp, gar and bowfin. Waters between the East and West levees, the Landside Ditch, and the portion of Panther Creek adjacent to the West Levee are open year-round except during limited draw hunts. The Office Pond is open year-round. Trotlines, limb lines, jugs, seines and fish traps are prohibited. Popular fishing areas are Wade Bayou, Panther Creek, Deep Bayou, Lake George and other smaller waters throughout the refuge. Facilities include two all-weather-access concrete boat ramps at Deep Bayou and Lake George.

Recreational fishing (a wildlife-dependent activity) has been identified in the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 as a priority public use, provided it is compatible with the purpose for which the Refuge was established. Fishing is a popular activity on Refuges throughout the Complex. Fish populations consist mostly of rough fish, which can withstand hot, murky water with low oxygen content, including long-nosed gar, buffalo, carp, bowfin, and catfish. A wide variety of fish species exists in the streams and bayous, including largemouth bass, various bream, and crappie.

Fishing is allowed in most Refuge waters March 1 through November 15. The fishing pond by the Panther Swamp NWR office is stocked with catfish; trot lines, limb lines, jugs, seines and traps are prohibited. Frogging is allowed in most Refuge waters during the State season. Please refer to current Refuge regulations and map for additional information. A Current Public Use Permit is required for access if you are participating in consumptive use such as but not limited to, hunting and angling. Click here to purchase or obtain your permit. For help with log-in or creating your account for purchasing or obtaining an annual public use permit please watch the video instructions.

Laws, rules, and regulations