Recreation opportunities resume at Lacassine NWR

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries invites the public back to the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently announced the reopening of the area closed since Hurricane Laura.

Lacassine refuge received the least hurricane damage of the three Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges and is the only one open at this time.

Sabine and Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuges both sustained widespread damage to infrastructure, facilities and equipment and remain closed until further notice.

Cameron Prairie’s youth and senior lottery waterfowl hunts, as well as the archery white-tailed deer hunt, will not take place this season.

The USFWS says it is too early to determine if Sabine refuge will be able to open for the upcoming coastal zone waterfowl season or when the roadside recreation areas will re-open for fishing and crabbing. In addition to clean-up and repairs needed, refuge recreation areas are serving as staging areas for utility poles and debris, as work continues to restore utilities to communities throughout Cameron Parish. Safety of the staff and the public is top priority. Additional information will be distributed when more is known.

Lacassine NWR is open for Archery white-tailed deer hunting through November 13, 2020. Bow hunting will be in accordance with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries regulations. Each hunter is required to fill out a Big Game Harvest Report following each hunt, whether successful or not. Big Game Harvest Reports are available from the silver hunt boxes located at Nature Road, Streeter Road and near the Pool entrance kiosk. Migratory Bird Harvest Report forms will be available in the silver hunt boxes located at Nature Road and Streeter Road when the season opens.

Hunters may enter the hunt areas no earlier than 4 a.m. and may remain no later than two hours after sunset each day. Hunters are required to carry a signed copy of the refuge regulations while hunting. It is important to be aware of current regulations prior to entering and hunting on your National Wildlife Refuge. For details on hunting within the refuge please obtain a copy of the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex Hunting Regulations 2020-21 brochure or print regulations from online at https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/regulations/southwest-louisiana-national-wildlife-refuge-complex-hunt.pdf; either will serve as the required permit when signed, dated and in your possession.

Fishing is open at Lacassine NWR through October 15, 2020, at which time it closes until March 15, 2021. Boat admittance into the refuge is permitted from one hour before legal sunrise to one hour after legal sunset. Fishing is permitted from legal sunrise to legal sunset. Only boats with motors of 40 horsepower or less may be used in Lacassine Pool; use of surface drive motors and push poles are encouraged. For details on fishing and boating within the refuges, please obtain a Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex Fishing and Boating Regulations publication online at www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/regulations/southwest-louisiana-complex-fishing.pdf or pick up a brochure from Refuge kiosks while supplies last.

Designated areas within Lacassine NWR will open for public hunting of ducks, geese, and coots during the Louisiana Coastal zone duck and coot season. November 7-8, 2020 hunts are open to Youth hunters only. November 14 through December 6 and December 19, 2020, through January 24, 2021, the refuge is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. Refuge hunt areas may be scouted prior to hunting season, Monday through Friday, November 9-13, 2020, sunrise to sunset. Scouting may also take place now while the refuge is open to boating through October 15, 2020.

For additional information about any of the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges call 337-563-3491 or visit www.fws.gov/refuge/cameron_prairie/.

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