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University » Public Lands » Maurepas Swamp WMA
Maurepas Swamp WMA

wildlife-management-area-louisiana-logoMaurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans and along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west to near Sorrento. Two tracts totaling some 62,500 acres were donated to the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries by the Richard King Mellon Foundation in the summer of 2001.The majority of access into the area is by boat but there are several portions that can be accessed by foot. Major highways crossing through the area are Interstate 10, Interstate 55, US Hwy 61, and Hwy 641. Major waterways in the area are Blind River and The Reserve Flood Relief Canal. There are 9 permit stations located throughout the area where the public can acquire required permits to enter the area. There is a small piece that remains closed due to its inaccessibility to the public.

Major topography consists of flooded cypress tupelo swamp. Heavy rains accompanied with east winds cause extensive flooding of the area for days at a time. Other species of plants present consist of bulltongue, cattails, submerged aquatics, red Maple, and limited oak species consisting mostly of live oak, striped (Nuttall) oak, and water oak. Invasive species include water Hyacinth, “Bidens sp. Fourchette,” and an aquatic fern known as Common Salvinia. Salvinia has made most of the area unsuitable for the large numbers of waterfowl, mostly Mallards, that used to over-winter in this vast swamp.

The most sought after species of game here are whitetailed deer, squirrels, rabbits and raccoons. Freshwater fish, such as largemouth bass, perch, and crappie are also pursued on the area. Contract trapping for alligators and permit trapping for nutria is allowed each year.

Future plans for the Maurepas Swamp area WMA are to erect and monitor Wood Duck nesting boxes, work in cooperation with other agencies on Freshwater diversion projects proposed to revive the swamp, build a swamp walk for public use and enjoyment and work to find controls for invasive plant species that have overtaken most of this important and scenic swamp.

Bald Eagles nest in and around the area along with many other species of birds. Bird watching, sightseeing, and boat riding are several other forms of recreation allowed on the WMA.

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

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