WATERBODY & WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA SPOTLIGHT - SUMMER 2019

Attakapas WMA
Attakapas WMA browse survey.
Green Heron
Bonnie Taylor Barry, Shutterstock

Atchafalaya Basin

 

Size: 833,000 acres of land, swamp, and water. Varies greatly with flood stage.

 

Maximum Depth: River depth up to 95 feet at high river stages

 

Public Piers Available: Several public boat ramps have piers

 

Public Access Boat Launches Available: 19

 

Common Fishing Species: Largemouth & spotted bass, black & white crappie (sac-a-lait), bluegill, warmouth, redear sunfish, catfish, gar and bowfin.

 

Additional Information: This vast cypress forest is home to a large number of bald eagles, so many so that it helps contribute to Louisiana being only behind Florida in the number of active eagle nests in the southern United States. The Atchafalaya River has a growing delta system that is continually expanding. Crawfishing in the Atchafalaya Basin makes up the majority of wild-caught crawfish in Louisiana. In years of high water, more than 10 million pounds can be harvested.

 

Activities Available:

 

Fun Fact

The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States. It’s also the largest block of floodplain forest in the country, and with 260,000 acres of cypress-tupelo forest, it is also the largest remaining contiguous tract of coastal cypress in the U.S.

 

Attakapas Island Wildlife Management area

 

Acreage: 27,962

 

Location: Located in Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary parishes, Attakapas WMA is about 20 miles northwest of Morgan City and 10 miles northeast of Franklin. Access is only by boat. Nearby public launches include Myette Point boat launch on Martin Ridge Road off Louisiana Highway 87, Charenton Beach Boat Launch northeast of Charenton off Louisiana Highway 326, a launch above Morgan City on Louisiana Highway 70 and Bayou Pigeon Landing in Iberville Parish off Louisiana Highway 75.

 

Owner: State of Louisiana, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

 

Description: The WMA’s terrain is characterized by flat swampland subject to periodic flooding and siltation from the Atchafalaya River. Areas adjacent to the river and spoil banks from dredging activities provide upland habitat and refuge areas for wildlife during periods of high water. Many areas within the WMA have acreated due to siltation. The primary overhead vegetation in the swamp is cypress and tupelo with some oak, maple and hackberry growing in the upland areas.

 

Popular Game Species: Available game species include white-tailed deer, rabbit, squirrel, and waterfowl. There is a youth-only season for deer. Trapping is allowed for furbearing animals. The WMA is also popular for fishing. Crawfish are found throughout the basin. Catfish, mullet, bass, bluegill, gar, bowfin and freshwater drum are also common.

 

How to Enjoy: There are three primitive camping areas and one camping area with picnic tables and running water located on Martin Ridge Road near Myette Point. LDWF has created and maintains 15 miles of hiking trails on the east and west sides of the Atchafalaya River. Birding opportunities are also available with a variety of hawks, owls, shorebirds and neotropical migrants being common.

 

Activities Available:

 

Note

You can only access Attakapas WMA by boat. There are several public boat launches available. See website under “Additional Information” section.

 

Additional Information

Atchafalaya Basin

For more information contact:

200 Dulles Drive

Lafayette, LA 70506

337-735-8711

www.wlf.la.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland

 

Attakapas Island WMA

For more information contact:

Lafayette Field Office: 337-262-2080

www.wlf.la.gov/wma/32640

 

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