Wildlife

Sabine Island WMA

Information
Owned: 
State of Louisiana and Calcasieu Parish Schools
Acreage: 
8,743 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(337) 491-2576

Sabine Island Wildlife Management Area is located in west-central Calcasieu Parish between Vinton and Starks. Access to the area can be attained by taking Louisiana Highway 109 north from Vinton or south from Starks and then taking the Nibblets Bluff Park road west from Louisiana Highway 109. The area is completely surrounded by water and access to the area can only be gained by boat.
Sabine Island is 8,743 acres in size and ownership is divided between the State Land Office and the Calcasieu Parish School Board.
The area varies from low terrain subject to annual flooding for prolonged periods to winding ridges laced throughout the area. Access within is made possible by numerous bayous and sloughs. Sabine River forms the southern and western boundary; Old River and Big Bayou border the east and north.
The forest cover is composed of two major timber types, cypress-tupelo comprising approximately 85 percent with the remainder classed as pine hardwood. In the pine hardwood portions, white oaks, willow oak and sweetgum are found mixed with loblolly pine.
The major understory species found are smilax, rattan, arrowwood, Japanese honeysuckle, blackberries, dewberries and reproduction of the major hardwood species.
Annual prolonged flooding makes it impossible to have food plots. Due to the timber type composition burning can not be employed to help manipulate the habitat for wildlife.
Game species hunted are squirrel, rabbit, deer, woodcock and waterfowl. Trapping for furbearers is allowed. Major furbearing species are raccoon, opossum, mink, bobcat and nutria.
The area offers excellent fishing, both sport and commercial, year-round.
Due to its location and abundant waterways, much recreation is derived from water skiing and boating.
Self-clearing permits are required to access Sabine Island. Additional information and maps may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1213 North Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, Louisiana, 70601. Phone (337) 491-2575.

Sabine WMA

Information
Owned: 
Forest Capital Patners, LLC, etal
Acreage: 
7,554 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050
Map: 

Sabine Wildlife Management Area is located in central Sabine Parish approximately five miles south of Zwolle. Louisiana Highway 6 and U. S. Highway 171 are the major roads providing access to Sabine. This area is approximately 7554 acres and is owned by one major timber company (Forest Capital Partners, LLC).Some smaller tracts are provided by other timber companies and private individuals.
The terrain varies from rolling hills to creek bottoms. The major timber type is loblolly pine plantations. Overstory species include these pines along with red oak, post oak, white oak, hickory and sweetgum. Understory species include yaupon, French mulberry, hawthorn, sassafras, black cherry, wax myrtle, huckleberry and dogwood.
The creek bottoms have an overstory comprised of beech, willow oak, water oak, red maple, black gum, magnolia, southern red oak and sweetgum. Understory species include ironwood, dogwood, wild azalea, deciduous holly and overstory regeneration.
Game species available for hunting are deer, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, quail, doves, and woodcock. Turkey hunting is available by lottery only. Trapping is allowed and species available are mink, raccoon, opossum, skunk, fox, beaver and coyote.
There is a primitive camping area located in the northwest portion of the area.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1995 Shreveport Highway, Pineville, LA 71360. Phone (318) 487-5885.

Salvador/Timken WMA

Information
Owned: 
LDWF and OCPIA
Acreage: 
34,520 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
504-284-5264

Salvador Wildlife Management Area is located in St. Charles Parish, along the northwestern shore of Lake Salvador about 12 miles southwest of New Orleans. Salvador was acquired by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1968 and includes some 30,000 acres.

Access is limited to boat travel and is primarily via three major routes: Bayou Segnette from Westwego into Lake Cataouatche, then west to area; Sellers Canal to Bayou Verrett into Lake Cataouatche, then west to area; or via Bayou Des Allemands, Accessibility into the interior marshes is excellent via the many canals, bayous, and ditches on the area. .

The area is primarily fresh marsh with many ponds scattered throughout. Common marsh plants are maiden cane, cattail, bull tongue, and numerous aquatic plants. Several large stands of cypress timber are evident in the northern portions. These stands of trees grow on old natural stream levees which were once distributary channels of the Mississippi River.

Game species include waterfowl, deer, rabbits, squirrels, rails, gallinules, and snipe. Furbearing animals present are mink, nutria, muskrat raccoon, opossum, and otter. Salvador supports a large population of alligators as well as providing nesting habitat for the endangered Bald Eagle.

Excellent freshwater fishing is available on Salvador. Bass, bream, crappie, catfish, drum, and garfish are abundant. Commercial fishing is prohibited.

Non-consumptive forms of recreation available are boating, nature study, and picnicking. More information can be obtained by calling 337-373-0032.

Timken Wildlife Management Area

The Timken Wildlife Management Area is a 3,000-acre marsh island that is leased by the Department from the City Park Commission of New Orleans. The area is identified as Couba Island on maps; however, it has been named the ?Timken? WMA after the former landowner who donated it to New Orleans. The area is located immediately east of the Salvador Wildlife Management Area.

Like the Salvador WMA, Timken WMA consists of fresh to intermediate marsh and provides excellent habitat for waterfowl, furbearers, and alligators. More information can be obtained by calling 337-373-0032.

Sandy Hollow WMA

Information
Owned: 
LDWF, Tangipahoa School Board
Acreage: 
4,177 Acres
Contact

This area comprised of 3,514 acres owned by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and 181 acres leased from the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Amite, Louisiana in Tangipahoa Parish.
The area is divided into two separate tracts near Wilmer, LA. The larger tract being north of LA Hwy. 10 and the smaller one south of Hwy. 10. Most of the rolling hill terrain is young longleaf pine with only a small portion of the area composed of mature trees.
The area is primarily managed for upland game birds such as quail and doves. Field trial courses and trails have also been established. Quail, dove, and woodcock hunting is considered good on the area. Deer, turkey, and squirrel hunting is considered fair due to habitat limitations.
A food plot program is conducted in an attempt to increase the wildlife use on the area, as well as hunter success.
Although the WMA is small as compared to other WMAs, it is a valuable research area. Numerous habitat, game, and non-game studies have been and are being conducted on the area.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 
 
Forest Burks
WMA Biologist Supervisor
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion
Office:  (985)543-4781
Fax:  (985) 543- 4787
fburks@wlf.la.gov

Sherburne

Information
Owned: 
LDWF, USFWS, USACOE
Acreage: 
44,000 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
337-948-0255

Site Access Notice

Sherburne WMA South Farm I-10 Access Detour in Effect

Sherburne Wildlife Management Area, located in the Morganza Flood way system of the Atchafalaya Basin, is situated in the lower and upper portions of Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Iberville Parishes respectively, between the Atchafalaya River and the East Protection Guide Levee. The Sherburne WMA, Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands combine to form a 44,000 acre tract. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries owns 11,780 acres, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service owns 15,220 acres and the remaining 17,000 acres is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The area is managed as one unit by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Access to the area is via Highway 975, which connects with highway 190 at Krotz Springs on the North, and Interstate-10 at Whiskey Bay on the South.

Entrance to the interior of the area is possible through a series of all-weather roads, ATV trails, and Big and Little Alabama Bayous. There are two private boat launches on the northern portion of Big Alabama Bayou, one public launch of the northern portion of Little Alabama Bayou, and one public launch on the Southern portion of Big Alabama Bayou.

The area is classified as bottomland hardwoods with four dominant tree species associations: (1) cottonwood-sycamore, (2) oak-gum-hackberry-ash, (3) willow-cypress-ash, (4) overcup oak-bitter pecan. Midstory species encompass seedlings of dominant species along with boxelder, maple, red mulberry, and rough-leaf dogwood. Ground cover is sparse, in areas, due to shading out and prolonged inundation. In those areas where habitat improvement, in the way on timber management, has taken place, the ground cover is very dense and provides excellent habitat for many species of game and non-game species. Common species found include rattan, greenbriar, rubus, trumpet creeper, virginia creeper, poison ivy, and milkweed. Much of the area supports a lush stand of fern.

Hunting for deer, squirrel, and woodcock may be rated as good, while rabbit hunting rated as fair. Waterfowl hunting can be seasonal, depending on many factors, but the opportunities to hunt waterfowl are excellent. Turkey hunting is very good on this bottomland hardwood area. Development and management have improved access, habitat, wildlife populations, and public use on the Sherburne Complex.

Camping is permitted on two designated areas, one on the Southern portion of the area being strictly primitive and one on the northern portion of the area having running water available.

Shooting Range Complex: The shooting range complex consist of rifle, handgun, skeet/trap and archery ranges. The rifle range has targets at 25, 50, and 100 yards, and the handgun range has targets at 10, 25, and 50 yards. The rifle and handgun ranges are open to the public 7 days a week from official sunrise to official sunset. No trespassing in restricted areas behind ranges. There are 2 skeet ranges with one have a trap bunker. The skeet ranges have set hours of operation which are determined by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The archery range has targets at 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards. There is also a 15 foot tower on the archery range which can be used to shoot at 3-D targets. Additional information may be obtained from the (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries-Opelousas Office, 5652 Highway 182, La. 70570, phone number (337) 948-0255, or by calling the Sherburne Shooting Range Complex at (337) 566-2251.

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
7,524 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
318-343-4044

Size, Location and History

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert  Wildlife Management Area consists of 7,524 acres located 6 miles west of Sicily Island, La. Major access routes to J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA are Louisiana Highways 8, and 915 and the Boeuf and Ouachita Rivers provide boating access to the western portion of the area. The majority of the area, approximately 6,180 acres, 2,021 acres purchased by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 4,159 acres donated to the Department by International Paper Co. in 1980. Between 1984 and 2002, approximately 1,345 additional acres have been purchased in smaller tracts through Act 18 of Second Special Session, Marsh Island Fund, Rockefeller Fund, Gen. Oblig. Bond, Wildlife Habitat Trust, State Duck Stamp, and NWTF Donations.  

Description of Landscape:

The topography is extremely rugged with high ridges dropping sharply into creek bottoms with elevations ranging from 35 to 245 feet M.S.L. The area is unique and supports a diverse group of plants and animals including rare and endangered species. Four small streams, totaling approximately 10 miles in length, meander through the area. Big Creek is the longest which is a rapidly flowing stream with a sand, gravel and sandstone ledge bottom.

The forest overstory is a mixture of loblolly-shortleaf pine and upland hardwoods. The predominant tree species are magnolia, sweetgum, blackgum,  loblolly and shortleaf pine, hickory, elm, ash, white oak, southern red oak, post oak, beech, cherrybark oak, red maple, water oak, and hophornbeam. The understory species includes  Vitis sp., deciduous holly, Smilax sp., baccharis, flowering dogwood, rattan, huckleberry, oak leaf hydrangea, buckeye, blackberry, silky camellia, sourwood, downy serviceberry, Crataegus sp., and many other grasses and herbaceous plants.

The most popular game species is white-tailed deer, squirrels, and turkey. There is a substantial population of turkeys on this area and a public lottery hunt is conducted annually. A youth lottery turkey hunt is held each year on the weekend prior to the regular turkey season.  Woodcock, rabbit, and raccoon hunting opportunities are also available.  There is a five acre gravel pit that was impounded and stocked years ago and offers some fishing opportunity. Freshwater species including bass, sunfish, and catfish are popular with area users, but fishing opportunity is limited by lack of available aquatic habitat.

The Louisiana Black Bear frequents this area and the number of reported sightings and nuisance complaints received from adjacent private landowners are on the increase. Black Bear research is ongoing at J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA.

Bald Eagles are observed frequently on this area and nesting is documented in the surrounding area.

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA is visited by many neo-tropical bird species annually and home to large numbers of passerine birds.  

Public Use:

The largest user group of this area is deer hunters. The Department maintains a system of all-weather gravel roads and several ATV trails that provide access to area users. Several walking trails follow logging trails. A boat launch is available at the stocked impoundment. Three permit stations located at major entrances to the area are provided to meet self-clearance requirements. Two primitive camping areas and three nature trails are available for public enjoyment on J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA. The Big Creek Hiking Trail located on the north end of the area meanders for seven miles through stands of mature mixed-pine hardwoods and passes many scenic points of interest including several waterfalls. Hikers should be aware this trail is rugged and best suits the physically fit. St Mary`s Falls Trail is located on the north end of the area also and meanders for approximately one and three-quarters of a mile through upland mixed-pine hardwoods and passes several smaller waterfalls and scenic views. The Rock Falls Trail is located on the south end of the area and winds for approximately one and one-half miles through mature stands of mixed-pine hardwoods. The waterfall along this trail measures near seventeen feet and is reported to be one of the tallest in the state. These trails offer some of the best wildlife viewing opportunity and natural beauty in the state.

Other Public Use:

Please refer to the WMA rules and regulations for permitted activities. In addition to hunting, trapping, and fishing other common activities include boating, hiking, birding/sightseeing, horseback riding, berry picking, and, raccoon field trials.  

Additional information may be obtained from LDWF, 368 CenturyLink Drive, Monroe, LA 71203. Phone (318) 343-4044.

Regulations:

J. C. “Sonny” Gilbert WMA (Department Owned- 7,524 Acres, Monroe Office)

Soda Lake WMA

Information
Owned: 
Caddo Levee District, USACOE
Acreage: 
2,500 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318) 371-3050
Map: 

Soda Lake Wildlife Management Area is located in Caddo Parish about 15 miles north of Shreveport, approximately one mile east of Louisiana Highway 1. Access into the area at the southern end is from La. Hwy. 173 west of Twelve Mile Bayou and at the northern end from La. Hwy. 169 east of Twelve Mile Bayou. Access in the area is limited to walk-in and bicycles only.
Soda Lake is comprised of 2,500 acres owned by the Caddo Parish Levee District and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and leased to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The entire area is located in an area that historically was a seasonal lake that flooded during late winter and spring. A similar water regime continues today with only the bluffs located on the western edge of the area remaining above flood level. The lower elevation habitat is a broken woodland consisting of willow, cottonwood, ash, hackberry and overcup oak. Due to annual flooding, the understory is very sparse containing rattan, peppervine, dewberry, and sawbriars. Open areas support wild millet, smartweed and several species of grasses.
The rugged escarpment of Twelve Mile Bayou located on the western edge of the area supports a diverse, old growth forest. Approximately 35 acres in size, a unique, natural, upland plant community of shortleaf pine, oak and hickory can be found there. Dominant species include shortleaf pine, sweetgum, white, post, cherrybark, shumard, and cow oaks. The dominant trees are estimated to be 100 to 130 years old. Two state-rare plants, American alumroot (Heuchra americana L.) and lowland brittle fern (Cystopteris protrusa Bernh.) have been found growing on the north and east facing bluffs.
The Department manages the area primarily as a refuge for migrant waterfowl and songbirds. However, Soda Lake WMA also provides year around habitat for a diverse population of resident songbirds, game and non-game mammals and insects. A cooperative agreement among the Department, Ducks Unlimited and the Caddo Levee District helps to maintain a series of moist soils impoundments that provides excellent waterfowl and bird watching opportunities.
White-tailed deer hunting opportunities are provided through an archery-only season. The area is a noted year around bird and wildlife viewing area.
Camping is not available on the area.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 1401 Talton Street, Minden, Louisiana 71055. Phone (318) 371-3050.

Spring Bayou WMA

Information
Owned: 
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Acreage: 
12,506 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
337-948-0255

Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area is located in north central Avoyelles Parish, two miles east of Marksville, off Louisiana Highways 115 and 452. These highways connect to Louisiana Highways 1 and 107 in the immediate vicinity of Marksville. Convenient access to the area headquarters on the west side is provided by a blacktop road. Access by vehicle to the east side is provided by an improved shell road off the Bordelonville levee. Access to the interior is mainly by boat. Three concrete boat ramps are provided for this purpose.
Spring Bayou contains 12,506 acres and is owned by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The area is in the low lying Red River backwater system. General topography is low, poorly drained land, with numerous finger lakes and narrow ridges. About 40 percent is covered by water, with various open lakes, bayous, bays, and sloughs. The area is drained by Little River.
The forest cover consists of nuttall oak and overcup oak with bitter pecan on the higher elevations. The lower elevations contain overcup oak, bitter pecan, swamp privet, and buttonbush. Lake edges are finged with cypress, willow and buttonbush.
The understory consists of deciduous holly, hawthorn, dogwood and the saplings of the overstory. Other plants include rattan, greenbrier, peppervine, trumpet creeper, dewberry, smartweed, verbena, wild lettuce, vetch, sedges and grasses. Aquatic species are water hyacinth, alligator weed, delta duck potato, water primrose, lotus, duckweed, and others.
Game species hunted are deer, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, and woodcock. Bowhunting is allowed for deer. Trapping for furbearers is allowed and species avalailable are raccoon, mink, bobcat and nutria.
Fishing is excellent; principal species caught are largemouth bass, various panfish, and catfish. Commercial fishing is allowed by permit. Species caught are catfish, buffalo, freshwater drum, and garfish. Boating and water skiing are popular in open water portions.
Additional information concerning Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area can be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570. Phone 337-948-0255

Tangipahoa Parish School Board

Information
Owned: 
Tangipahoa Parish School Board
Acreage: 
1,643 Acres
Contact

In April of 2003 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries entered into an agreement with the Tangipahoa Parish School Board to free-lease some of their "16" sections. The intent of both parties is to better manage wildlife and insure continued public access. The tracts leased are relatively small and scattered throughout the Parish but do offier the Public additional outdoor recreational opportunties. The first tract is located in the center of the Parish, south of La. Hwy. 16. It contains 347 acres of upland pine habitat actively managed for loblolly pine timber production. The site consists of timber stands of various ages with scattered hardwoods. Access is via Neal Road west of Briar Patch Road and La. Hwy. 445. Game species found on site include whitetail deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, mourning dove, bobwhite quail, and woodcock. The second site is also found south of La. Hwy. 16 and can be accessed by heading south on the Dummyline Road at the Sharon M.B. Church. This 649 acre tract is bordered on the east by the Hillcrest School Road. Longleaf pine, loblolly pine and mixed pine/hardwood habitats occur on this site. Again whitetail deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, mourning dove bobwhite quail, and woodcock occur on this site. The third site is located North of La. HWY. 38, near Lewiston. It can be accessed via Brumfield Lane. Whitetail deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, mourning dove, bobwhite quail and woodcock occur on the site. All sites require self-clearing permits. Hunting seasons on the three tracts are the same as outside except still hunt only for deer; beagles are only allowed for rabbits Jan. 24-Feb. 28; squirrel dogs are only permitted Jan. 24-Feb. 28 and Nightime raccoon hunting allowed Jan. 24-Feb. 28. No horseback riding during gun season for deer or turkey and no ATVs are allowed. 
 
Forest Burks
WMA Biologist Supervisor
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion
Office:  (985)543-4781
Fax:  (985) 543- 4787
fburks@wlf.la.gov

Thistlethwaite WMA

Information
Owned: 
Thistlethwaite Heirs
Acreage: 
11,100 Acres
Contact
Phone: 
(318)487-5885

Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area is located in north central St. Landry Parish, immediately northeast of Washington off Louisiana Highway 10. Access by I-49 also, Lebeau exit. Seventeen miles of all-weather shell roads are maintained within the area, allowing convenient access to virtually the entire tract. Approximately eleven miles of woods trails are also maintained for the convenience of hunters.
Thistlethwaite is 11,000 acres in size and is owned by Thistlethwaite heirs.
The terrain is generally flat bottomland, with a gentle north-to-south slope. Drainage is slow, with standing water for considerable periods after heavy rains.
Forest cover is predominantly oak, most commonly water oak, willow oak, overcup oak, white oak, cherrybark oak, nuttall oak, cow oak, and post oak. Other species are bitter pecan, sweet pecan, hichory, hackberry, sweetgum, ash, elm and maple. The lower areas contain cypress and tupelo gum.
Selective timber cuttings have enhanced a natural understory of dogwood, redbud, spice bush, French Mulberry, greenbriar, rattan, blackberry, and many others. Choice browse plants are dogwood and wild lettuce. Japanese honeysuckle grows profusely. Game species are deer, squirrels, rabbits, wood ducks, and woodcock. The deer herd is outstanding in quality, with many trophy bucks taken by hunters. Trapping for furbearing animals is permitted. The species caught are beaver, raccoon, mink, bobcat, otter and opossum. Hawks, owls, woodpeckers and neo-tropical migrants are very prevalent on the area.
No camping is allowed by the landowner. Non-consumptive activities include nature walks and nature studies by various civic organizations, schools and the public.
Self-clearing permits are required for all activities on the area. Additional information may be obtained from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 5652 Hwy 182, Opelousas, Louisiana, 70570. Telephone 337-948-0255.

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