Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge

Description:

Lake Ophelia NWR (named for the largest water body in the area) was established in 1988 to protect the important Mississippi/Red River floodplain ecosystem. The refuge was once part of a vast bottomland hardwood wilderness. Levees have changed hydrology, but the underlying ridge/Saale topography supports a variety of habitat types. Bottomland hardwood forest, croplands, fallow fields, moist soil units, and cypress-tupelo brakes are intermixed with meandering bayous, pristine lakes, ponds, sloughs, and the Red River. This variety of vegetative communities in turn supports a diversity of wildlife. Due to its location in east-central Louisiana, the refuge is served by the Mississippi and Central Flyways. Although mallards, northern pintails, and wood ducks are the most numerous waterfowl species on the refuge, blue- and green-winged teal, northern shovelers, gadwall, and American Widgeon are also common. Primary diving ducks are scaup and ring-necked ducks. Canada, snow, and greater white-fronted geese are present, though less common. Several hundred native species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fishes, and insects are found on the refuge. Common, though often difficult to see, species include bobcats, alligators, red and grey foxes, turkeys, mink, and otter. More frequently encountered are white-tailed deer, raccoons, fox squirrels, beaver, marsh hawks, and wading birds. Many neotropical migratory songbirds use the refuge at various times. Refuge fisheries are composed largely of largemouth bass, gar, crappie, bowfin, bream species, buffalo, carp, and catfish. Endangered species numbers are few and their presence is always marked with special interest. The arctic peregrine falcon is an occasional visitor, and thanks to the refuge's three-year bald eagle reintroduction project, bald eagle sightings are common.

Directions:

The refuge office is at 401 Island Road just north of Marksville, LA. The office can be reached by taking LA. Hwy. 1194 south from LA. Hwy. 1, to Island Road. The refuge itself is 20 miles northeast of Marksville, LA on LA. Hwy. 452

Phone:

318-253-4238

Email:

lakeophelia@fws.gov

Address:

401 Island Road Marksville, LA 71351

Activities:

Boating Fishing Hiking Hunting Wildlife Viewing

Organization:

FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service

$149.95
Keep your toes toasty as you slosh through winter sludge with the Merrell Women's Murren Strap Waterproof Boot. A...
Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com
Currently Viewing Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge
Featured Park
Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
Featured Wildlife
The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.
Currently Viewing Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge