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University » Public Lands » Ouachita WMA
Ouachita WMA

wildlife-management-area-louisiana-logoOuachita Wildlife Management Area, 10,989 acres in size, is located in southeast Ouachita Parish, approximately six miles southeast of Monroe. It is bordered on the north by the Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area and on the east by Bayou LaFourche. Louisiana Highway 15 crosses the northern portion of the management area.

The original purchase of 3,124 acres of bottomland hardwood habitat was consummated in 1975. A large addition was made in 1984 when 5,621 acres of agricultural land was purchased. An additional 896 acres was added in 2002. Ouachita lies within the Bayou LaFourche flood plain and is subject to annual winter and spring flooding. Elevation of the area ranges from 55 to 62 feet mean sea level.

The forest canopy contains a mixture of bottomland hardwoods that are grouped into two major timber types: oak-elm-ash and overcup oak-bitter pecan (water hickory). Minor acreages of cypress-tupelo gum and pure black willow are also present. Individual species of trees present include Nuttall oak, honey locust, rock elm, sweetgum, hackberry, willow oak, and delta post oak. Common understory species are swamp privet, rattan, poison ivy, deciduous holly, grape, palmetto, trumpet creeper, persimmon, and hawthorn.

Department personnel planted almost 4,000 acres of hardwood seedlings in an attempt to restore the property to its former condition prior to being cleared for farming in the 1960?s. A series of waterfowl management impoundments totaling approximately 1,700 acres were constructed in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited. Levees were upgraded on another 455 acres of impoundments in 2001 utilizing Ducks Unlimited funds. The waterfowl impoundments are heavily utilized by waterfowl as well as numerous non-game birds. An observation tower has been constructed which provides for public viewing of waterfowl.

Game species available for hunting include deer, squirrel, rabbit, snipe, dove, and waterfowl. Among the ducks wintering on the area are blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, mallard, shoveler, pintail, and wood ducks. Trapping is permitted with available furbearers including raccoon, mink, nutria, muskrat, opossum, beaver, coyote, and bobcat. The river otter is present, but trapping for this species is not allowed.

Three reservoirs, 180 acres, 18 acres and 10 acres, are located on the reclaimed agricultural tract. Fishing opportunity exists for largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie. Waterfowl impoundments are managed in a manner, which provides an excellent water regime for crawfish production.

One camping area, eight acres in size, is located on the WMA. Camping is primitive in nature except a source of drinking water is provided.

Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 368 CenturyTel Drive, Monroe, Louisiana 71203. Phone (318) 343-4044.

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