U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

Black Bayou Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

480 Richland Place
Monroe, LA   
E-mail: northlouisianarefuges@fws.gov
Phone Number: 318-387-1114
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Black Bayou Lake NWR offers great fishing, hunting and wildlife observation opportunities.
Gray horizontal line
  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
Black Bayou Lake NWR is a popular destination for school field trips. Refuge ranger and volunteers conduct educational activities that help meet curriculum guidelines. The refuge offers a variety of wildlife habitats for hands -on environmental investigations using scientific equipment available on site. Over 100 woody plants native to Louisiana are labeled in the arboretum. A new environmental education program, Rhythms of the Refuge, is being piloted at Black Bayou Lake NWR. This program offers teacher training and a handbook that covers a variety of themes and offers pre and post visit activities to enhance the educational value of the refuge visit.

Black Bayou Lake offers excellent year-round fishing opportunities in a beautiful setting. Fishermen commonly pursue largemouth bass, crappie, and redear, bluegill and other bream species. Motors are restricted to 50 horsepower or less. A boat Launch is located near the visitor center.

Black Bayou Lake NWR offers an either sex archery season for whitetail deer. There is a long squirrel and rabbit season and they can be hunted with dogs after deer season closes. Raccoon and opossum can be hunted at night for one month and they can be hunted during daylight hours throughout the small game season. Recognized breeds of bird dogs may be used to hunt quail and woodcock. Historically a duck hunter's paradise, most of the lake is now a waterfowl sanctuary. Duck hunting, like all other hunting on the refuge, is allowed in the designated hunting area only.

The mile long nature trail and 400 foot wildlife pier have interpretive panels and an interpretive brochure. The visitor center houses interactive interpretive exhibits. Interpretive programs include night hikes, guided discovery hikes and bird walks, and various workshops and fishing clinics. Refuge ranger does roving, informal interpretation on the refuge

Wildlife Observation
Black Bayou Lake is an excellent year round location to observe and photograph waterfowl and wading birds. The raised observation deck overlooking a remote area of the lake has a mounted spotting scope. The nature trail meanders through a forested wetland that is home to a great diversity of animal and plant species. The wildlife pier often offers close-up views of alligators, herons, egrets, wood ducks, prothonotary warblers, orioles, red-winged blackbirds, snakes, turtles and numerous wetland species.

The refuge is open year-round, from dawn to dusk; however the Visitor Center's hours are as follows:

Monday - Friday 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. (subject to staff /volunteer availability)

Saturday 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M.

Sunday 1:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M.

Entrance Fees
The only fee charged at Black Bayou Lake NWR is a $2.00 boat launch fee.

- Refuge Profile Page -