U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Big Branch Marsh
National Wildlife Refuge

A cypress slough  just before dawn.
(mailing address)
61389 Hwy. 434
Lacombe, LA   70445
E-mail: bigbranchmarsh@fws.gov
Phone Number: 985-882-2000
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
A cypress slough just before dawn.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
Environmental Education - Area students can receive programs at their school for grades 2-4 and activities on the refuge for older classes. The onsite programs can help students understand why refuges exist and what goes into managing a refuge.

Fishing - Fishing opportunities abound at Big Branch Marsh NWR. Freshwater species such as bass, sunfish, bluegill, and others can be found in the canals and bayous of the refuge year-round. Saltwater species like Red Drum (redfish), spotted Seatrout, flounder, white trout, and more can be found in the lower reaches of the bayous and canals as well as in the ponds and along the lakeshore.

An improved boat launch and fishing pier is located at Lake road and a non-motorized boat launch is avaiable at Sap sucker road.

Hunting - Big Branch Marsh allows hunting for waterfowl, rabbit, squirrel, quail and other small game as well as a bow season for whitetail deer. Various other hunting regulations and restrictions apply on the refuge, and are described in the refuge hunt regulations brochure. The brochure also contains the refuge hunt permit, which all hunters are required to carry.

There is a visitor center with exhibits and dioramas at the refuge office campus in Lacombe. A boardwalk, walking trail and interpretive kisok are located at the Boy Scout road entrance. Canoeing, hiking, birdwatching activities are also available.

Wildlife Observation
Wildlife Photography - Big Branch Marsh NWR offers some extraordinary opportunities for photographers. Several easily accessed locations offer sites for photographing waterfowl, wading & shorebirds, songbirds in season and even the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

Wildlife Observation - Birders visit Big Branch Marsh NWR in droves in the springtime, when they are likely to see many migratory species as well as the elusive red-cockaded woodpecker. Fall and winter bring a return of the migratory birds as well as other species. Waterfowl and shorebirds may spend a day on the refuge and then continue in their travels, or they may stay for the winter.

The refuge is open during daylight hours only except fishing and boat access is available 24 hours at the lake road boat launch and parking area. The refuge visitor center is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 4pm. Information is also available at the refuge office 7:30am to 4pm Monday through Friday.

- Refuge Profile Page -