Bodcau Wildlife Management Area is located in Bossier and Webster Parishes and derives its name from the major bayou that bisects it from its northernmost point at the Arkansas-Louisiana state line to its southernmost tip nearly 30 miles to the south. The area is located approximately 17 miles northeast of Bossier City. Numerous access routes to Bodcau WMA are available. The primary access to the area is by traveling north on La. Hwy. 157 from Interstate 20 at Haughton to the community of Bellevue and then following the signs. ATV activity is permitted on numerous marked trails.
The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and a private corporate landowner own Bodcau WMA. The area is long and narrow with an average width of one and one-half miles and consists of approximately 34,355 acres. The dam and flood reservoir were built and their primary function remains to control downstream flooding. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the U. S. Corps of Engineers and the corporate landowner by way of long term licensing agreements manage the wildlife resources and public access on the area.
The area contains a wide range of wildlife habitat ranging from cypress swamps to upland pine and hardwood forests interspersed with grasslands and open fields. Many species of grasses and forbs that are typically found in states west of Louisiana can be found growing in the grassland areas. There are numerous seasonally flooded sloughs, beaver ponds, and large areas of flatland, bottomland, hardwood forests. One unique feature of the area is that the bottomland forest rapidly merges with the upland forest on a series of ridges that extend into the bottomland area.
Dominate tree species in the bottomland forests include bald cypress, water, overcup, willow, and cow oaks. Shortleaf and loblolly pine, white, red, and cherrybark oaks, sweetgum and elm trees dominate upland forests. Understory species in the bottomland area include poison ivy, honeysuckle, rattan, buttonbush and swamp privet. Upland understory species include blackberry, honeysuckle, poison ivy and beautyberry and sawbriar.
Ivan Lake, a man-made reservoir located on Bodcau WMA provides thousands of hours of fishing and small boating recreation. Bodcau Bayou and its? overflow can provide excellent bass and bream fishing in addition to crawfishing opportunities during certain years.
White-tailed deer can be hunted by bow and arrow and modern firearms. The deer herd is considered healthy. Squirrel, rabbits, doves, quail and all other species of small game hunting opportunities exist on Bodcau WMA. Waterfowl hunting opportunities are provided in the 1,600 acre greentree reservoir and in the numerous sloughs and backwater flooded areas. Wild turkey hunting is also allowed during a short spring gobbler season.
The Department manages a rifle range with targets from 25 to 200 yards, a pistol range with 25 and 50 yard targets and a shotgun station. The range is supervised by an approved range officer and is open to the public on regularly scheduled days.
Ongoing habitat management and development on the WMA include prescribed burning, fallow disking, supplement food plantings, waterlevel manipulation and timber harvest. These practices help to provide quality habitat for game and non-game species. Wildlife watching is a very popular year around activity on Bodcau WMA. Non-game species such as great blue herons, several species of hawks, and barred, horned and screech owls are common. Yellow, black and white, yellow-throated, magnolia, prairie and yellow-rumped warblers are regularly seen on the area. Numerous species of reptiles, amphibians and insects can also be seen on the area.
The approximately 7 mile trail was originally a hiking/nature trail that has been redesigned to provide the mountain biker with some of the finest single track in Louisiana. This trail has several of the longest and fastest single track downhill sections in the state. Perfect for those who are wanting a taste of big hill riding without having to leave the state. It WILL get your heart rate up. This trail is the secret training ground of most of the top Louisiana MTB racers who constantly place in the top 3 overall in the Texas and Arkansas MTB Series races. One 7 mile lap here is the equivalent of one 11 mile lap at Ruston.
From I-20 take the Haughton/Fillmore/Hwy 157 exit. Go north about 10 miles. Turn right on Bodcau Dam Road -Follow Signs. After passing fire tower, turn left. Stop at the big sign-in sign and fill out a card. Its FREE! The trail head in on the left where the road forks.