Cat Island NWR - Updates

Information on accessibility, special events and general announcements can be found below. General information on Cat Island NWR can be found by clicking here.

Every year Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge floods from the rising waters of the Mississippi River, which makes this refuge so unique. Parts of the refuge will periodically be closed due to the high water that can get as deep as 20 feet or more in places. The champion bald-cypress tree, which is several miles by road from the refuge entrance, will become inaccessible.
Follow the information on this page to plan your visit to Cat Island NWR. At

 
Discovering another on of a hundred huge Bald-cypress trees of Cat Island NWR
Home-made wooden kayak in foreground is a 16 footer.  Compared it to  the very large bald-cypress tree in background.

certain flooding levels, hiking and other activities will become very limited. However, it is the best time to paddle your canoe, kayak and pirogue. All precautions of boating safety should be taken, as it is easy to get lost if you are not familiar with the area. Purchase a map at the WFP Historical Museum on Ferdinand St.; bring a compass or GPS, and plenty of drinking water. If you are not experience in tracking your way, it is recommended to paddle down the main road and/or the ATV trails. Beware; cell phone service is limited on the refuge.
It's a great time to view migratory birds, discover some very old and large bald-cypress trees - some nearly as large & exciting as the champion tree, photography and interesting nature when things change from dry to underwater.
Enjoy the wonders of nature but be very cautious, this is a very remote area.

Reported birds sightings so far include; vireos, summer tanagers, cardinals, herons, egrets, chickadees, pileated woodpeckers, red-headed woodpeckers, bald-eagles, swallow-tailed kites, Mississippi kites, barred owls, hawks, indigo buntings, painted buntings, chat, variety of warbles, various ducks, vultures, crow, red-winged black birds, grackles, owls and more.

Latest conditions:

May 2, 2013: Due to Mississippi River flooding, the refuge is close for everything except boating and fishing, until further notice. The big tree (National Champion Bald-cypress) is NOT accessible, unless by boat.



See Mississppi River Gauge Reading Below

River Stage - Baton Rouge

BTRL1 Mississippi River at Baton Rouge (Louisiana)
  • Forecast - BTRL1 - Mississippi River at Baton Rouge (Louisiana)
    Forecast Issued: Dec 20, 2014 09:55 AM CST
    Recent Projected Forecast Available: 19.5 ft
    Recent Projected Forecast Time: Dec 21, 2014 12:00 PM CST

    Highest Projected Forecast Available: 19.5 ft
    Highest Projected Forecast Time: Dec 21, 2014 12:00 PM CST

    Last Projected Forecast Available: 15.8 ft
    Last Projected Forecast Time: Dec 25, 2014 06:00 AM CST

River Stage - Red River

RRLL1 Mississippi River at Red River Landing (Louisiana)
  • Forecast - RRLL1 - Mississippi River at Red River Landing (Louisiana)
    Forecast Issued: Dec 20, 2014 09:55 AM CST
    Recent Projected Forecast Available: 33.2 ft
    Recent Projected Forecast Time: Dec 21, 2014 12:00 PM CST

    Highest Projected Forecast Available: 33.2 ft
    Highest Projected Forecast Time: Dec 21, 2014 12:00 PM CST

    Last Projected Forecast Available: 28.3 ft
    Last Projected Forecast Time: Dec 25, 2014 06:00 AM CST

 

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