The Ouachita River starts in the Ouachita Mountains as a mountain stream just west of Eagleton, Arkansas in Polk County.
stretch of river between Eagleton and Lake Ouachita is a popular float stream.
Ouachita River Basin Water Levels
Below Lake Catherine's Remmel Dam
to Malvern, Arkansas is a very popular Kayaking stretch of the river.
Flowing in a southeasterly direction through 11 counties in Arkansas, six parishes in Louisiana, and empties into the Red River approximately 35 miles
above the confluence of the Red and Mississippi Rivers
The 605 mile length of the Ouachita River drains an area of approximately 24,790 square miles.
S.E. Meek was the first to investigate the headwaters of the Ouachita
River and its tributaries which he described as "swift, flowing streams of
clear water with rock and gravel bottoms." Meeks reported 30 species of fish
collected from the South Fork of the Ouachita River near Mt. Ida, Arkansas;
and three other locations in Garland County, Arkansas. The Ouachita River
near Crystal Springs, Mazarn Creek and Myers Creek. areas.
Lake Ouachita Dam the river flows into and forms Lake Hamilton, an
created by building the Carpenter Dam in 1932.
Below the Carpenter Dam is Lake Catherine
another Energy lake created by the Remmel Dam built in 1924.
Below Lake Catherine, the river again turns into a float stream flowing south and
collecting the Caddo River tributary near Arkadelphia Arkansas.
Continuing downstream southeast from the entrance of the Caddo the
Little Missouri River joins the Ouachita
Below Camden, AR dredging for
navigational purposes begins.
The river then collects the waters of Smackover
Creek and Ouachita's main tributary, the Saline River.
South of the Saline, the Ouachita flows into Lake Jack Lee, a large lake and
green tree reservoir part of the
Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge
created by the Ouachita and Black River Project in Ashley, Bradley, and
Union Counties of Arkansas.
Felsenthal dam the Ouachita River continues into Louisiana.
In Louisiana, the River collects the waters of
the longest Bayou in the World before adding, Bayou de Loutre, Bayou d'Arbonne, Boeuf
River, the Little River, and the
Beyond the Tensas river, the Ouachita is called the Black River for several
miles as it flows thru Catahoula Parish and Concordia Parish where it merges
with the Red River, which flows into both the Atchafalaya River and
the Mississippi River, via the
Old River Control Structure.
The Ouachita River has four locks and dams along its length:
H. K. Thatcher Lock & Dam, Calion AR,
Columbia Lock and Dam LA,