Old Fort Bayou Preserve
The primary boundary of this 1,459-acre preserve follows the edge of the estuarine marsh from the mouth of Fort Bayou to where the marsh becomes forested. The lower portions of the bayou are oligohaline, consisting primarily of hummock needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) marsh. Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) occurs as a sub-dominant plant mixed in the Juncus along with big cordgrass (Spartina cynosuroides). Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) occurs as narrow, disjunct bands along the creeks and the bayou. The mid portion of the bayou consists largely of mid-level needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) dominated marshes and in the upper portions of the bayou the marsh is still dominated by needle rush (Juncus roemerianus), with disjunct bands of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) along the minor creek edges. The middle Old Fort Bayou oligohaline area is dominated with mid-level needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) marshes. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) occurs as narrow, disjunct bands along the channels and saltmeadow cordgrass (Spartina patens) bands occur adjacent to the uplands. Eelgrass (Vallisneria) can be observed along the edges of the main channels. The lower, oligohaline portion of Old Fort Bayou consists primarily of hummock needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) marsh. The plants occur largely as clumps atop relatively low relief (5 cm) hummocks where the substrate is largely clay silt and not firm. Boaters and anglers use the area on occasional and seasonal basis for waterfowl hunting (sparingly) and fishing. Residences with open septic systems are a threat to ecological integrity.
Rare/Endangered Species:
Notropis petersoni Coastal Shiner
Fundulus jenkinsi Saltmarsh Topminnow
Malaclemys terrapin pilea Diamond Back Terrapin
Alligator mississippiensis American Alligator
Juniperus silicicola Southern Red Cedar
For Comments and/or Additional Information on the Old Fort Bayou Preserve, email the Coastal Preserves Manager.

Contact Old Fort Bayou Preserve

MS Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Avenue
Biloxi, Mississippi  39530
Phone: (228) 374-5000
Toll Free: (800) 374-3449
Fax: (228) 374-5005


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Mississippi

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator