Facility Activities

Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, straddling the Ouachita River, offers classic duck hunting in the flooded timber created by a deep, overflowing swamp. The refuge is one of the few public hunting spots in the area. It provides many hunting opportunities, but waterfowling is consistently...

Fishing opportunities include bait casting for bass, jig or shiners for crappie and cane pole fishing for bream. Fishing is allowed on the Ouachita River, Fish Lake, Harrell Lake and many other backwater lakes. The refuge has three boat launches and a universal access pier at Harrell Lake.

From bald eagles to spoonbills, from condors to puffins, birds abound on national wildlife refuges. Refuges provide places for birds to nest, rest, feed and breed making them world-renown for their birding opportunities.
Many Fish and Wildlife Service sites make great destinations for flatwater canoeing or kayaking. Some sites have concessions that rent canoes or kayaks. Some sites offer scheduled paddle tours. See individual refuge websites for details.
Seasonal firewood gathering is available at a few sites, by permit. Tree cutting is generally limited to dead and downed trees or non-native trees. Some refuges have stopped allowing firewood cutting to stem the spread of the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest. Check individual sites for more information.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.