Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge

Congress established of Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) on November 16, 1990, to protect some of the last remaining, least disturbed bottomland hardwoods in the lower Mississippi Valley. The refuge purposes are as follows: (1) conservation and enhancement of wetlands; (2) general wildlife management as a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, including management of migratory birds; and (3) fish and wildlife-oriented recreational activities."

The area surrounding Bayou Cocodrie NWR is a bottomland hardwood swamp which borders (supports or harbors) more than one hundred and fifty species of birds and many other types of wildlife, including several species threatened with extinction, such as the Louisiana population of black bears. Bayou Cocodrie NWR includes some of the least disturbed bottomland hardwood forests in the southeast and significantly contributes to the biological diversity in the region." Bayou Cocodrie NWR shall be manage " amount of refuge woodlands as a contiguous forest sufficient to benefit the species of passerine birds that occupy this type of habitat. Expanding on the primary purposes, management objectives include: providing wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl; establishing habitat for a natural diversity of wildlife; providing habitat for non-game migratory birds (neotropicals); establishing a research natural area; and providing opportunities for environmental education, research, interpretation, and other wildlife-dependent recreation.

Bayou Cocodrie NWR serves as a critical repository of gene pools, species, and communities that must contribute to the overall health of the lower Mississippi valley ecosystem. Named after the native alligator (crocodile) and the bayou that runs through it, the refuge provides an important ecological niche for fish, wildlife, and plant species. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service manage refuge resources and, where possible, coordinate with neighboring land managers and agencies to conserve biological diversity. The high quality forests, long growing season, abundant rainfall, and geographical proximity to the Mississippi river provide habitat for a diversity of resident species, including migratory songbirds and black bear. The refuge is home to a wide variety of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds and is well known locally for its wildlife habitat. Songbirds, white tailed deer, waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, reptiles, amphibians, woodcock, furbearers, and other mammals utilize this area.

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Latitude: 31.600115 Longitude: -91.593948 Elevation: 47 ft


Recreational Opportunities

Activities are oriented toward interaction with and appreciation of wildlife and native habitats are the focus of public us on the refuge. Wildlife-dependent recreation includes wildlife observation (by hiking and canoeing), hunting, fishing, and photography. Hunting and fishing are most popular on Bayou Cocodrie NWR. The majority of the public has yet to discover the natural beauty and wildlife of this area. Current visitation is under 5,000 annually. Public can access the interior of the refuge by utilizing the ~13-mile trail system. Trails are maintained for hunting access, wildlife observation, photography, fishing and hiking. A motor boat launch and a canoe/kayak launch are available for the public to access refuge lands along Bayou Cocodrie which runs through the refuge. A fishing pier is located on the Hoover Slough unit and two boardwalks/observation towers are located on the Headquarters Unit.

Seasons Accessible

Hiking trails, boardwalks, and boat launches are open year round sunrise to sunset.  ATV access for hunting on designated trails is limited to hunting season.  Consult the Bayou Cocodrie NWR regulations website for further details.


An annual public use permit is required for all hunting and fishing on Bayou Cocodrie NWR.

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