Free guided canoe tours at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

Published 9:30 am Sunday, February 12, 2023

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Want to learn more about wildlife and the natural and cultural history of Southeast Louisiana?  Join a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Refuge Ranger to explore Bayou Lacombe at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

All canoes and paddle equipment are provided by USFWS. The tours last approximately three hours, beginning at 9 a.m. on selected Saturday mornings. This adventure is geared towards adults, but children 5 and older may attend and children at least 10 years old may paddle. The canoes have two seats for paddlers — younger children will sit in the middle of the canoe. Participants should be prepared to paddle for up to two to three hours on flatwater with several stops to discuss wildlife and natural history.

Registration for tours opens Monday, February 27, 2023 at 8 a.m. and is open until March 3 at 5 p.m. or until tours are full. Registration is open to individuals on a first come first served basis. Registration requests received before or after these dates and times are not accepted. To better serve the community, priority will be given to individuals who have not previously participated in one of our free canoe tours, and the number of spots an individual can request are limited. Reservation requests made by email and voicemail/phone are time stamped and processed in the order in which received. Register by email to Refuge Ranger Jo Anne Dolan at or by phone: 985-882-2015.

Spring 2023 canoe tour dates are:

Saturday, March 11

Saturday, March 25

More information visit


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants.