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University » Public Lands » Catahoula NWR
Catahoula NWR

national-wildlife-refuge-logoRefuge Facts:
Established: 1958
Acres: 25,242 (4,159 are managed through a cooperative management agreement with the American Electric Power Company. 6,671 acres in LaSalle Parish, 18,571 acres in Catahoula Parish).
Location: The refuge headquarters is located 1.5 miles west of the Intersection of Highway 28 & 84, on Highway 84, or approximately 12 miles east of Jena, LA.

Natural History:
Vegetation consists primarily of lowland hardwood forest, subject to annual flooding from Catahoula Lake. The Willow Lake Unit contains several hundred acres of old farm fields which provide habitat for grassland species. White-tailed deer, small game mammals, songbirds, raptors, and waterbirds. Reptiles and amphibians from alligators to cricket frogs also inhabit the refuge. Waterfowl, primarily mallards, are abundant during the winter period, wood ducks reside year-round. Peak waterfowl populations of over 100,000 ducks have been recorded. Duck Lake Impoundment, Cowpen Bayou, Dempsey Lake, Round Lake, Long Lake, and Rhinehart Lake serve as the major waterbodies. Wetlands and open water 1,100 acres; bottomland forest 6,435; shrub land 500; old field/grassland 500 acres.

Financial Impact of Refuge:
Three-person staff.
40,000 visitors annually.
Total budget (FY 05) $374,000.

Refuge Objectives:
Provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl consistent with Mississippi Flyway objectives.
Provide habitat and protection for endangered species.
Preserve bottomland hardwoods and provide habitat necessary for wildlife diversity.
Provide opportunities for environmental education, interpretation and wildlife oriented recreation.

Management Tools:
Water management for waterfowl.
Deer and small game management with public hunting.
Livestock control fences.
Chemical control of weeds.
Law enforcement.

Public Use Opportunities:
Auto tour route.
Hiking trails.
Boardwalk and observation tower.
Fishing pier for the disabled.
Wildlife observation.
Small game and archery deer hunting.
Volunteer program.

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