Wolf Bayou Unit of Black Island Conservation Area

Driving Directions

Take the Wardell exit off I-55 and follow the east outer road south to Route BB, then take Route BB over the levee until it ends.


This area contains bottomland forest. Facilities/features: boat ramp, Wolf Bayou (43 fishable acres), and Wolf Bayou Natural Area.

About This Area

Wolf Bayou contains 263 acres, of which 220 are forest. The area was purchased with Conservation Department funds between 1971-73. Eight acres are leased from the St. Francis Levee District under a 30-year arrangement.

Wolf Bayou is one of the state's last natural lowland lakes. The area provides opportunities for outdoor recreation and is managed to maintain unique forest cover and aquatic resources. Forest cover in the Bootheel region is less than two percent of the land area. The forest is a remnant of the once extensive bottomland hardwood forest that covered more than two million acres of the Missouri Bootheel.

The area has four bayous totaling 43 acres of surface water. While there is little doubt the bayous are river formed, their exact origin is unclear. The deep, steep-sided , linear bayous have both washout and oxbow characteristics.

Wolf Bayou itself is a designated natural area.

General Information




Owned by MDC,Leased

  • The small chute between Wolf Bayou and Hosler Bayou is very shallow and narrow, it is prone to naturally occuring log jams that make it unpassable by boat.
  • There is a gravel boat slide to provide access to Hosler Bayou.
  • On Wolf Bayou Unit of Black Island Conservation Area:  All public use is prohibited, except fishing and waterfowl hunting by boat, when the Mississippi River water level is at or above twenty eight feet (28') on Caruthersville gauge.
  • Electric Motor Only.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Good population of species exists on the area. Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Canoeing  This is a good place to canoe. It provides opportunity to canoe in a lowland lake and Cypress lined oxbow sloughs, a rare opportunity.  
Fishing - Bass Good population.  
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Crappie Good population.  
Fishing - Other Good population. Carp, Buffalo 
Hiking  No designated trails. This area does provide an opportunity to traverse a bottomland forest. 
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Other  Turkey, Waterfowl (non-toxic shot only), and Small Game hunting is allowed. Statewide seasons and regulations apply. Populations vary and can be sporadic, access can be unpredictable.  
Trapping with Special Use Permit  Contact Missouri Department of Conservation New Madrid Forestry Office for further information: 1-573-748-5134. 

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Boat Ramp - Lake - Concrete Wolf Bayou - Concrete Boat Ramp   
Boat Ramp - Lake - Other Hosler Bayou - Gravel Boat Slide  Gravel Boat Slide may not be usable as a boat ramp.  
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Wolf Bayou Natural Area 200.00 acres Natural areas provides additional information.  
Fishing Lake or Pond Sample Bayou 3.00 acres 3-acre remnant oxbow slough. Access is difficult. 
Fishing Lake or Pond Hosler Bayou 8.00 acres 8-acre remnant oxbow slough. Access Hosler Bayou through gravel boat slide at south end of main parking lot. 
Fishing Lake or Pond Wolf Bayou 35.00 acres Remnant lowland lake / oxbow slew. 

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Lakes/Ponds 46.00 Wolf Bayou, Hosler Bayou, Sample Bayou 
Forest and Woodland 230.38 Bottomland Forest 
Total Area Acres:276.38 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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