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University » Public Lands » Joyce WMA
Joyce WMA

wildlife-management-area-louisiana-logoJoyce Wildlife Management Area is a 16,394 acre tract located in southern Tangipahoa Parish 5 miles south of Hammond, Louisiana. The area consists of 12,809 acres owned by the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries which was donated by the Joyce Foundation in 1982 and 2,250 acres donated by Guste Heirs in December 1994. An additional 850 acres and 483 acres is leased from the Joyce Foundation and the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, respectively.

This entire area is a wetland within the Pontchartrain Basin and consists primarily of cypress-tupelo swamp. A large portion of the area is a dense shrub-marsh community with red maple, wax-myrtle, red bay, and younger cypress-tupelo. A 500 acre fresh marsh of primarily maiden-cane is located on the northern portion of the property.

Access into the interior of the property is extremely limited. There are no roads that lead into the wooded swamp. The main means of access are several abandoned logging canals that enter the area from the west off La. Hwy. 51. Entrance into one of these more prominent runs is marked by a wooden foot bridge. These old logging runs are narrow and travel is limited to pirogues and canoes and then only during high water periods. Access by outboard motor is limited to the upper reaches of Middle Bayou and Black Bayou. There are public boat launches at the North Pass bridge along La. Hwy. 51.

Game species found on the Joyce area are deer, rabbits, squirrel and waterfowl. The primary importance of the tract to hunters is its waterfowl resource. Mallard and woodduck are the major species using the area along with gadwall, widgeon and pintail occurring less frequently. Trapping is permitted for raccoon, nutria, muskrat, otter, mink and opossum. Alligators are also common on the area.

An elevated boardwalk constructed in 1990 provides visitors with the opportunity for each access to view swamp wildlife and vegetation. In addition, over 50 wood duck nesting boxes have been placed in suitable habitat to stimulate production of more birds. Use of these boxes has been encouraging.

Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70898-9000, (225) 765-2360.

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