Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge was established to preserve and protect wintering waterfowl and their habitat. It was the first refuge established under the auspices of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The refuge is located approximately 25 miles southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana, in north central Cameron Parish. It contains 9,621 acres that include fresh marsh, coastal prairie, and old rice fields (currently moist soil units). Located at the convergence of two major flyways, the refuge has an important role in management for migratory birds.

Approximately 30,000 people visit the refuge annually. The visitor center, exhibits, and auto-tour route are the primary attractions for the visiting public. The refuge is an integral part of the Creole Nature Trail All American Road.

Recreation & Education Opportunities

  • Environmental Education
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Photography
  • Wildlife Observation
Management Activities
Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge (Cameron Prairie NWR) is managed to provide natural foods for wintering waterfowl and other water birds. This is done by using moist soil management techniques to grow natural plants and by constructing levees and water control structures to provide water for wildfowl usage. The area was formerly drained through the use of levees, dikes, and an elaborate pumping system to provide required water levels for rice farming.

Currently, the refuge consists of 5,137 acres of impounded fresh marsh, 1,928 acres of Moist Soil Units, 1,402 acres of non-impounded fresh marsh, and 315 acres of natural wet prairie. There are over 97 miles of canals, 88 miles of levees, 13 impoundment water control structures, and 34 moist soil water control structures. The water control structures are used in part of a complex water management plan to grow the best quality natural foods and attract a myriad of water loving species by providing optimal water levels during key migration and wintering periods.

Contact Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge

Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex
1428 Highway 27
Bell City, Louisiana  70630
Phone: 337-598-2216


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Cameron Parish, Louisiana

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator