Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge


(318) 726-4222

Map Directions

Things To Do



Upper Ouachita NWR, established in 1978, consists of 42,594 acres located in Union and Ouachita Parishes. The legislative purposes for the refuge are to conserve wetlands and manage for migratory birds; recreational opportunities include hunting, fishing, and auto touring. The refuge is bisected by the scenic Ouachita River and consists of upland pine-hardwood and bottomland hardwood forest; agriculture, moist-soil wetlands, and open water. Upper Ouachita NWR provides excellent wintering habitat for tens of thousands of ducks and geese. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the threatened Louisiana black bear are found here. Other wildlife species that call the refuge home include alligators, deer, turkey, squirrels, bald eagles and beavers. Upper Ouachita NWR is one of the five refuges managed in the North Louisiana Refuges Complex.

Habitat management focuses primarily on reforestation, controlling invasive species, prescribed burning of upland pine forest, thinning of upland and bottomland forest, maintaining moist-soil units, and farming for waterfowl foraging habitat.

Map of Upper Ouachita NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 32.938386, -92.156067



  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The drive along River Road gives beautiful views of the Ouachita River and bottomland forest. Squirrels, wading birds, deer, turkey and numerous songbirds are usually seen. The refuge has no camping facilities and does not allow camping. However, the Corps of Engineers has a public campground at their Finch Bayou Recreation Area, located between the north and south units of the refuge.

  • Fishing

    Largemouth bass, crappie, bream and catfish are popular fishes caught from the refuge's many lakes, sloughs and creeks that are enriched annually by the backwater of the Ouachita River. Many anglers also fish the river. Three boat launches are available to access refuge waters.

  • Hunting

    Upper Ouachita NWR has four months of either sex archery deer hunting. Gun deer hunting is limited to several either sex weekend hunts. Waterfowl hunting is open during the state season including Youth Days with hunting until noon. Special teal season is limited to specific area. A limited youth hunt is offered in an otherwise closed area (guides and blinds are provided). Mourning dove, quail, woodcock, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon and opossum may be hunted. Consult the hunting brochure for specific regulations.


Fishing is available year-round, and hunting is available for many species. Contact the refuge office for more information.



Although Upper Ouachita NWR does not have a visitor center, many points of access are available to the public. Access Finch Bayou Recreation area and the scenic River Road on the west side of the refuge by way of La. Hwy 143. From Haile, Louisiana, turn east on Hooker Hole Road. Drive four miles and turn north onto River Road. Visitors can access the east side of the refuge in Morehouse Parish by way of Bastrop, Louisiana. From U.S. Hwy 165 turn west on Hang Out Road and travel 5 miles. Turn left on Meter Station Road. Go straight into the parking lot. For more access points onto the refuge, refer to a refuge brochure. Refuge headquarters are located on D'Arbonne NWR.

Phone Numbers


(318) 726-4222