Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Welcome to Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge

Credit: USFWS

Credit: USFWS

Upper Ouachita NWR, established in 1978, consists of 49,948 acres located in Union and Ouachita Parishes. The legislative purposes for the refuge are to conserve wetlands and manage for migratory birds. The refuge is bisected by the scenic Ouachita River and consists of upland pine-hardwood and bottomland hardwood forest; agriculture, moist-soil wetlands, and open water. Upper Ouachita NWR provides excellent wintering habitat for tens of thousands of ducks and geese. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the threatened Louisiana black bear are found here. Other wildlife species that call the refuge home include alligators, deer, turkey, squirrels, bald eagles and beavers. Upper Ouachita NWR is one of the five refuges managed in the North Louisiana Refuges Complex.

Habitat management focuses primarily on reforestation, controlling invasive species, prescribed burning of upland pine forest, thinning of upland and bottomland forest, maintaining moist-soil units, and farming for waterfowl foraging habitat.

Hunting and Fishing Regulations

Download the latest hunting and fishing regulations.

Getting There...

Although Upper Ouachita NWR does not have a visitor center, many points of access are available to the public. Access Finch Bayou Recreation area and the scenic River Road on the west side of the refuge by way of La. Hwy 143. From Haile, Louisiana, turn east on Hooker Hole Road. Drive four miles and turn north onto River Road. Visitors can access the east side of the refuge in Morehouse Parish by way of Bastrop, Louisiana. From Hwy 425, turn onto Bonner Ferry Rd (Hwy 593). Turn left onto Cave Off Road and then right onto Prairie DeButte Rd. At the end of the road, turn left onto Stevenson Road and drive straight through into the refuge. For more access points onto the refuge, refer to a refuge brochure. Refuge headquarters are located on D'Arbonne NWR.

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information on trapping within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Cooperative Farming Compatibility Determination For Public Review

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is asking for public comments to the Cooperative Farming Compatibility Determination for Upper Ouachita NWR. Please email your comments to gypsy_hanks@fws.gov by March 14, 2017.

Habitat Management Plan

Download the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge Habitat Management Plan.

Native Hardwood Forest Restoration

A Forestland Restoration Partinership Between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Conservation Funds's Go Zero® Program

Restoring a Forest Legacy at Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge (PDF 4,411 KB)

Refuge Bird Sightings

eBird is a real-time, online bird checklist that any birdwatcher can use. eBird is sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Here you can see which birds have been seen in the past month on the refuge by birdwatchers. If you want to add your sightings, sign up at ebird.org. List the birds you saw on the refuge under the “hotspot” for Upper Ouachita NWR.


Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Finalized Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Last updated: February 27, 2017