Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge Updated:03/2022

There are eight National Wildlife Refuges in the SELA Refuges Complex. The mission of these refuges and the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of  lands and waters for the conservation, management and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1980 and encompasses 36,000 acres of the Pearl River Basin. Located northeast of Slidell, LA, this beautiful southern swampland is one of the least disturbed in the country.

Directions to the Refuge: From the Louisiana Side: To reach the southern tip of the refuge, take I-59 to Pearl River Turnaround Exit 11. Heading east from this exit takes you to a fishing area, turning west will take you toward the Holmes Bayou Trail. The Refuge can also be accessed from Locks 1, 2, & 3 by taking Highway 41 north of Slidell.

Mississippi Side: To reach the furthermost East side of the Refuge, take I-59 North to Picayune, MS. Take HWY 43 to Walkiah Bluff Water Park or to Dumas Wise Road to access the Refuge.

Endangered and Threatened Species on the Refuge: Ringed-sawback turtle, American alligator, gopher tortoise, inflated heel-splitter mussel and the Gulf sturgeon. The swallow-tailed kite is a species of special concern on Bogue Chitto NWR. The American alligator was de-listed as an endangered species in 1987 but remains listed as threatened due to similarity in appearance to the endangered American crocodile. The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was de-listed as a threatened species in 2007. Bald eagles visit the refuge each year.

Other Wildlife Species: Deer, turkey, neo-tropical birds, rabbit, raccoon, a variety of snakes, mink, skunks, wading birds and waterfowl.

Habitat Description: Bogue Chitto NWR is a bottomland hardwood forest consisting of a number of sloughs and bayous. The production of valuable wildlife foods is dependent on the varying degrees of inundation during the growing season. A variety of woody plant species occur in these periodically flooded areas, and all exhibit some degree of survival in soils which are inadequately drained and aerated. Commonly recognized habitats include the bald cypress and water tupelo communities associated with longer periods of flooding to the live oak and pine forest communities on the higher ground.

Interesting Facts: Bogue Chitto is unique in that the refuge extends through two states, Mississippi and Louisiana. Bogue Chitto means "Large Stream" as described by the Choctaw Indians.

Management Goals: Preservation and enhancement of habitat, endangered species management, environmental education, and compatible wildlife-oriented recreation

Opportunities for Public Use: Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, hiking, camping, birding, photography and canoeing. See the documents below for additional information, maps and brochures. All hunters must read, sign and have in their possession a Refuge Hunting Permit as found on the front of the Hunting and Fishing Regulations brochure.

Notice: Bogue Chitto NWR is closed to hunting (except waterfowl) and camping when the water level at the Pearl River, LA station is at 15.5 feet or higher. The US Geological Survey (USGS) river level gauge reading can be found here.


Contact Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge

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Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge is not employed by or affiliated with the Mississippi Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.


Contact Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge

Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Complex
Lock 1 Rd
Pearl River, LA  70452
Phone: 985-882-2000
Fax: 985-882-9133

Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Saint Tammany Parish, Louisiana
  • Washington Parish, Louisiana
  • Pearl River County, Mississippi