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University » Public Lands » Grand Cote NWR
Grand Cote NWR

national-wildlife-refuge-logoRefuge Facts:
Established: 1989.
Size: 6,077 acres.
Location: Central Louisiana, Avoyelles Parish.
Other lands managed: FmHA conservation easements and fee-title transfers; 21 tracts, 3,190 acres.
Directions: follow Louisiana Highway 1 north from Marksville to Fifth Ward; turn left onto Louisiana Highway 1194 at caution light; stay on Highway 1194, following signs to headquarters building.

Natural History:
Grand Cote National Wildlife Refuge was once part of the large contiguous Mississippi River bottomland hardwood forest. Topography of the refuge is characterized by a large depressional basin that fills with shallow water from winter rains and backwater flooding.
During the seventies, the area that would become Grand Cote Refuge was cleared and leveed for agricultural purposes. The area was poorly suited for farming, but provided ideal shallow flooded habitat preferred by many waterfowl and shorebird species. Habitat management objectives are centered around providing shallow flooded habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds during August through March. A special emphasis is placed on providing shallow flooded rive; native moist soil plant fields preferred by northern pintails. Habitat found on the refuge include: 420 acres forest, 2,485 acres reforestation, 2,040 acres cropland, 830 acres moist soil and 300 acres of permanent water. Underlying soils are the typical poorly drained, nutrient-rich, clays associated with a large river floodplain. These soils are capable of supporting large numbers of resident and migratory wildlife.

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