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Kisatchie National Forest

Ample Wildlife and Outdoor Pursuits at Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge

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Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge maintains more than 25,000 acres surrounding Catahoula Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state, and is located approximately 25 miles north of Alexandria.

Fishing, hunting, photography and wildlife observation are all part of the outdoor mix. Many of the lakes and bayous are open to seasonal fishing, and the Bushley Bayou Unit allows year-round catches for largemouth bass, crappie and catfish, as well as crawfish harvesting. Several boat ramps allow access for fishing the waterways or simply exploring the area. Refuge facilities provide an observation tower, a nine-mile road for scenic drives and foot trails, including a one-mile, self-guided hiking path.

Catahoula Lake, a national wetland, serves primarily as a refuge for shorebirds, waterbirds and migrating waterfowl. Every year, the winter season brings as many as 75,000 ducks migrating to the area. The refuge, which has more than 175 species of birds, is a designated “Globally Important Bird Area” by the American Bird Conservancy.

Photo Credit: Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge