Blakeley Island

  • Permit for Blakeley visitation
    • Access to Blakeley Island is only allowed with a valid permit on file with the Alabama State Docks authority.  Attempts to access Blakeley without filing the proper permit annually will result in a loss of visitation privileges for all birders.We can not stress strongly enough – please do NOT attempt to visit without first filing a permit! You can email the permit to, or fax it to 251-441-7085.  Please print the Blakeley permit from this download: Download Permit
  • Map of the Blakeley Island area
    • Water levels can fluctuate daily. As of 9-4-10 water was being held approximately as depicted in blue.
    • There are no facilities in the Mud Lakes and summer heat makes heat illness a real danger. Be aware of your body, bring water and be careful if you spend any time there while it’s hot.
  • Disposal Areas Currently Open
    • here is currently quite a bit of work being done on the North Pinto site and the water level is unknown. Birding at the North Pinto site is not recommended at this time.

      The best area currently are the lakes accessed by the B parking area.

Blakeley Island Updates:

PLEASE NOTE!! The number to use for faxing in your Liability Release is 251-441-9395. Visitation permit forms can be obtained on this website by visiting the link above.

PLEASE NOTE!! All birders visiting Blakeley Island are REQUIRED to post a permit on the dash of their car. You must notify the Alabama State Port Authority prior to walking the dikes. For further details, please go the Blakeley permit page. Blakeley visitation is regulated through the Alabama State Port Authority and any vehicles not displaying the proper permits will BE TOWED!! Please be sure to comply with the permit requirement so that access to this premier birding site will not be lost.

Weekdays call 251-441-7085, and on weekends call 251-441-7777 to notify Port Authority personnel of your intention to visit. You must file a permit before visiting! Completed permits can be submitted to the Port Authority by faxing to 251-441-7085 or by email to

The Mud Lakes on Blakeley Island are well known to Alabama birders as one of the best spots in South Alabama for shorebirds and waterfowl. The Island, at the western end of the Mobile Causeway, along the east side of US 90A, can be reached from either US 90 or I-10.

The Mud Lakes Disposal Area, owned by the Alabama State Port Authority and managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers is used to store mud and sand refuse from dredging the Mobile Ship Channel. The upper Lakes were formerly used as settling ponds for industrial waste water and can be extremely caustic. The water in the canal surrounding the elevated dikes is used to capture the leachate from the upper lakes and is likewise very caustic. Management of the dredge refuse sites requires tilling and grading the lakes to hasten the drying of the refuse. As a result different lakes may have good water for the birds at different times.

Access to the Mud Lakes is controlled by the Alabama State Port Authority and their procedures must be adhered to. These are described in the Permits section of this page (found above) and involve the submission of a Liability Release Form annually and before visiting. Your Instruction Sheet must be prominently displayed in the front window of your vehicle.

Do not leave the roads on the top of the dikes for any reason whatsoever! To do so will jeopardize all access to these facilities.

Be prepared for a long walk when visiting the ponds, it may be exceedingly hot and buggy, and there are no facilities nor cover on the dikes around the lakes. A spotting scope is recommended.