Pascagoula River Blueway
The Pascagoula River Blueway George County is almost 23 miles in length and is best for experienced and intermediate paddlers because of distance between access points and strong currents. Those hoping to enjoy fish and wildlife in the slower backwaters should visit Points of Interest accessible by road just off the main river.
The Pascagoula River is formed where the Leaf and Chickasawhay Rivers join. It is allowed to move naturally (no dams) over 80 miles where it empties into the Mississippi Sound. Over 50,000 acres are now protected for conservation along the stunning landscapes of the free flowing river.
Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are lands set aside to conserve Mississippi’s wildlife resources. Our WMAs are managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Within the Pascagoula River WMA hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, and boating are all acceptable activities.
Aside from the river, visitors may see oxbow lakes and other backwater sloughs, cypress-tupelo swamps, small creeks, pine savanna and longleaf pine forests within the 37,000 acres of the Pascagoula River WMA. Within this fascinating landscape of habitats, over 327 species of birds live or migrate each year to feed, nest and roost. Deer are plentiful; fox, river otters, beaver, skunks, bobcat, alligators, snakes and even black bear can be found within the river habitats.
The National Park Service is collaborating with state and local agencies and organizations to promote the conservation, stewardship, and public use of the Pascagoula River, the last large unimpeded river system in the lower 48 states. The Pascagoula River Blueway is part of America’s Great Outdoors Rivers Program to conserve and restore key rivers across the nation, expand recreational opportunities and support jobs in local communities.
Things to Know When Visiting the Blueway:
All visitors must purchase and carry a WMA User Permit (purchased wherever licenses are sold). Permit use is strictly enforced. Additionally, visitors must complete a daily use permit card before entering the WMA. These permit cards are available at permit stations located at major entrances to the WMA. For questions about the Pascagoula River WMA, visit the website at www.mdwfp.com/wma or call 601-947-6376.
• Check local weather and river stages before your trip! If the river level is under 3 feet or over 9 feet, wait for better conditions before attempting to paddle. To report safety concerns, call George County Sheriff (601-947-9156) or 911. For WMA violations, call 1-800-BE-SMART .
• The Pascagoula River Blueway is for experienced and intermediate paddlers.
• File a float plan with a friend or relative. Cell phone coverage is not always reliable.
• Be aware of eddies and strong river currents especially at boat ramps.
• Wear a life jacket with a whistle attached and take a waterproof first aid kit.
• Alcohol is not permitted within the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area.
• The Pascagoula River WMA is open for hunting season from October 1 – May 1. Walking trails are important passageways for hunters; please use caution during these months. Hunter orange hats or clothing is appropriate.
• The Pascagoula River WMA is a wildlife haven. Please be aware of your
surroundings and always respect the wildlife.
• For local weather and river stages, www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/wmas/southeast-region/pascagoula-river.aspx