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1
Sondra Rankin on the Ouachita River in Lousiana
Sondra Rankin on the Ouachita River in Lousiana
::2007/02/04::
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2
Ouachita River x Kayak
Ouachita River x Kayak
::2012/03/22::
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3
Ouachita River D
Ouachita River D'arbonne Bayou Bass Fishing
::2014/11/12::
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4
Ouachita River Foryth Park to D
Ouachita River Foryth Park to D'Arbonne Bayou Spillway Running in Bass Boat
::2014/11/19::
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5
Summertime on the Ouachita River
Summertime on the Ouachita River
::2010/08/01::
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6
Ouachita River, alternate Dragover take-out point
Ouachita River, alternate Dragover take-out point
::2014/04/21::
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7
DeSoto Bluff, Ouachita River, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 2013 Revised Video
DeSoto Bluff, Ouachita River, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 2013 Revised Video
::2013/06/24::
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8
Scenic River Ouachita River Foundation Show 5B
Scenic River Ouachita River Foundation Show 5B
::2010/07/11::
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9
Ouachita River Trip 2006
Ouachita River Trip 2006
::2008/04/17::
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10
Ride to the Ouachita River
Ride to the Ouachita River
::2009/09/02::
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11
Storm damage on the ouachita River at power plant on bradley ferry rd in Camden #arwx
Storm damage on the ouachita River at power plant on bradley ferry rd in Camden #arwx
::2014/04/06::
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12
Ouachita River Rockport Loop
Ouachita River Rockport Loop
::2012/08/19::
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13
LASTA SP 745 over the Ouachita river bridge at Monroe, LA
LASTA SP 745 over the Ouachita river bridge at Monroe, LA
::2008/02/12::
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14
A Levee Runs Through It: Reconnecting the Ouachita River to Its Floodplain
A Levee Runs Through It: Reconnecting the Ouachita River to Its Floodplain
::2009/05/19::
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15
West Monroe Waterfront Home on the Ouachita River!
West Monroe Waterfront Home on the Ouachita River!
::2013/02/01::
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16
25 horse Nissan 15/48 weldbilt on Ouachita river.
25 horse Nissan 15/48 weldbilt on Ouachita river.
::2013/09/07::
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17
EVST 1201 Ouachita River Promo web FLW H 264 640x360
EVST 1201 Ouachita River Promo web FLW H 264 640x360
::2013/01/04::
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18
2014 BA.S.S. Nation Championship at Ouachita River
2014 BA.S.S. Nation Championship at Ouachita River
::2014/12/06::
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19
2014 BNC Day 1 Launch-Ouachita River
2014 BNC Day 1 Launch-Ouachita River
::2014/11/06::
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20
Ouachita River Flooding, May 31st, 2013 Malvern, AR #ARWX
Ouachita River Flooding, May 31st, 2013 Malvern, AR #ARWX
::2013/05/31::
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21
Scenic river Ouachita River Foundation Show 5A
Scenic river Ouachita River Foundation Show 5A
::2010/07/07::
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22
Bangs Slough off Ouachita River - Calion, AR
Bangs Slough off Ouachita River - Calion, AR
::2008/05/27::
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23
Ouachita River Property with National Forest and Mountain Views - Near Lake Ouachita!
Ouachita River Property with National Forest and Mountain Views - Near Lake Ouachita!
::2013/06/26::
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24
RanGary Flathead Op catfish Ouachita River trotline
RanGary Flathead Op catfish Ouachita River trotline
::2012/03/15::
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25
Ouachita River Float Trip
Ouachita River Float Trip
::2014/05/11::
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26
Ouachita river/morphine injury
Ouachita river/morphine injury
::2011/01/09::
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27
Kayaking along the Ouachita river
Kayaking along the Ouachita river
::2014/08/19::
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28
Ranger Z118 on Ouachita River at Harrisonburg, LA
Ranger Z118 on Ouachita River at Harrisonburg, LA
::2012/05/20::
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29
Sloane Roberts Performing At Miss Ouachita River/South
Sloane Roberts Performing At Miss Ouachita River/South
::2009/02/17::
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30
ouachita river flood 2009
ouachita river flood 2009
::2009/10/29::
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31
catfishing at night by trotline ouachita river
catfishing at night by trotline ouachita river
::2012/03/13::
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32
E&E: US2012: day09 - Ouachita River - Ms.E HarnessCam 01 - 20121126 - Oden, AR - Sims, AR
E&E: US2012: day09 - Ouachita River - Ms.E HarnessCam 01 - 20121126 - Oden, AR - Sims, AR
::2013/02/11::
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33
Ouachita River at Rockport
Ouachita River at Rockport
::2012/05/21::
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34
trotline catfish on Ouachita river... playing with the gaff
trotline catfish on Ouachita river... playing with the gaff
::2012/03/14::
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35
E&E: US2012: day09 - Ouachita River - Ms.E HarnessCam 00 - 20121126 - Oden, AR - Sims, AR
E&E: US2012: day09 - Ouachita River - Ms.E HarnessCam 00 - 20121126 - Oden, AR - Sims, AR
::2013/02/11::
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36
Fresh water drum (goo) Ouachita River - after white perch (crappie) RanGar
Fresh water drum (goo) Ouachita River - after white perch (crappie) RanGar
::2012/03/15::
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37
Toby Traylor - Allstar Jam on the Ouachita River in Monroe LA
Toby Traylor - Allstar Jam on the Ouachita River in Monroe LA
::2014/07/06::
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38
Rabbit Swims Ouachita River not deer
Rabbit Swims Ouachita River not deer
::2011/01/18::
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39
Fishing ouachita river ar
Fishing ouachita river ar
::2013/10/12::
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40
RanGary Steve catches Blue Catfish ouachita river louisiana stray dog story
RanGary Steve catches Blue Catfish ouachita river louisiana stray dog story
::2012/03/22::
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41
FPV Flight Showing the Ouachita River
FPV Flight Showing the Ouachita River
::2014/06/09::
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42
Papaw picking muscadines on the Ouachita River
Papaw picking muscadines on the Ouachita River
::2012/08/18::
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43
Early Morning on the Ouachita River
Early Morning on the Ouachita River
::2013/03/25::
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44
Ouachita River Cruise
Ouachita River Cruise
::2014/11/27::
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45
Thomas playing the ledge at Rockport, Ouachita River, Arkansas
Thomas playing the ledge at Rockport, Ouachita River, Arkansas
::2014/07/27::
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46
Duty Ferry,Interprise,La,Ouachita River
Duty Ferry,Interprise,La,Ouachita River
::2011/07/08::
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47
RanGar Long Lake Brem (blue gill) near Ouachita River
RanGar Long Lake Brem (blue gill) near Ouachita River
::2012/03/15::
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48
Ouachita River Soap Co. Handmade Cold Process Soaps & Sundries
Ouachita River Soap Co. Handmade Cold Process Soaps & Sundries
::2012/04/16::
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49
Ouachita River Fun
Ouachita River Fun
::2010/08/01::
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50
BARGE GOING DOWN THE OUACHITA RIVER NEAR CALION
BARGE GOING DOWN THE OUACHITA RIVER NEAR CALION
::2010/12/28::
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the river in Arkansas and Louisiana. For the river in Texas and Oklahoma, see Washita River.
Ouachita River
River
Ouachita River, Arkansas.jpg
Ouachita River in Ouachita County, AR
Country United States
States Arkansas, Louisiana
Tributaries
 - left Little Missouri, Saline, Tensas
 - right Caddo, Little
Cities Hot Springs, AR, Camden, AR, Monroe, LA, West Monroe, LA
Source
 - location Ouachita Mountains, Polk County, Arkansas
 - coordinates 34°41′56″N 94°19′57″W / 34.69889°N 94.33250°W / 34.69889; -94.33250
Mouth Black River
 - location Catahoula Parish, near Jonesville, Louisiana
 - coordinates 31°37′53″N 91°48′25″W / 31.63139°N 91.80694°W / 31.63139; -91.80694
Length 605 mi (974 km)
Map of the Ouachita River watershed. The Ouachita joins the Tensas River near Jonesville, Louisiana to form the Black River (Louisiana).
Blakely Mountain Dam on the Ouachita River in Garland County, Arkansas. The dam impounds the Ouachita Reservoir.
Columbia Lock and Dam on the Ouachita River

The Ouachita River (/ˈwɑːʃɨtɑː/ WAH-shi-tah) is a 605-mile-long (974 km)[1] river that runs south and east through the U.S. states of Arkansas and Louisiana, joining the Tensas River to form the Black River near Jonesville, Louisiana. It is the 25th longest river in the United States (by main stem).

Course[edit]

The Ouachita River begins in the Ouachita Mountains near Mena, Arkansas. It flows east into Lake Ouachita, a reservoir created by Blakely Mountain Dam. The North Fork and South Fork of the Ouachita flow into Lake Ouachita to join the main stream. Portions of the river in this region flow through the Ouachita National Forest. From the lake, the Ouachita flows south into Lake Hamilton, a reservoir created by Carpenter Dam, named after Flavius Josephus Carpenter. The city of Hot Springs lies on the north side of Lake Hamilton. Another reservoir, Lake Catherine, impounds the Ouachita just below Lake Hamilton. Below Lake Catherine, the river flows free through most of the rest of Arkansas.

Just below Lake Catherine, the river bends south near Malvern, and collects the Caddo River near Arkadelphia. Downstream, the Little Missouri River joins the Ouachita. After passing the city of Camden, shortly downstream from where dredging for navigational purposes begins, the river collects the waters of Smackover Creek and later the Ouachita's main tributary, the Saline River. South of the Saline, the Ouachita flows into Lake Jack Lee, a reservoir created by the Ouachita and Black River Project, just north of the Louisiana state line. The Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the Ouachita from the Saline River to Lake Jack Lee's mouth.

Below Lake Jack Lee, the Ouachita continues south into Louisiana. The river flows generally south through the state, collecting the tributary waters of Bayou Bartholomew, Bayou de Loutre, Bayou d'Arbonne, the Boeuf River, and the Tensas River. The river below the junction of the Tensas is called the Black River 31°16′22″N 91°50′01″W / 31.27278°N 91.83361°W / 31.27278; -91.83361 and flows for 41.6 miles (66.9 km)[2] in Catahoula Parish and Concordia Parish until it joins the Red River, which flows into both the Atchafalaya River and the Mississippi River, via the Old River Control Structure.

The Ouachita has five locks and dams along its length, located at Camden, Calion, and Felsenthal, Arkansas, and in Columbia and Jonesville, Louisiana.

History[edit]

The river is named for the Ouachita tribe, one of several historic tribes who lived along it. Others included the Caddo, Osage Nation, Tensa, Chickasaw, and Choctaw. Washita is an Indian word meaning "good hunting grounds" and "sparkling silver water."

Before the rise of the historic tribes, their indigenous ancestors lived along the river for thousands of years. In the Lower Mississippi Valley, they began building monumental earthwork mounds in the Middle Archaic period (6000-2000 BCE in Louisiana). The earliest construction was Watson Brake, an 11-mound complex built about 3500 BCE by hunter gatherers in present-day Louisiana. The discovery and dating of several such early sites in northern Louisiana has changed the traditional model, which associated mound building with sedentary, agricultural societies, but these cultures did not develop for thousands of years.

The largest such prehistoric mound was destroyed in the 20th century during construction of a bridge at Jonesville, Louisiana. Likely built by the Mississippian culture, which rose about 1000 CE on the Mississippi and its tributaries, this mound was reported in use as late as 1540 by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. On his expedition through this area, he encountered Indians occupying the site. A lightning strike destroyed the temple on the mound that year, which was seen as a bad omen by the tribe. They never rebuilt the temple, and were recorded as abandoning the site in 1736.

During the late 1700s, when the area was controlled by the Spanish and French, the river served as a route for early colonists, and for land speculators such as the self-styled Baron de Bastrop. The "Bastrop lands" later passed into the hands of another speculator, former Vice President Aaron Burr. He saw potential for big profits in the event of a war with Spain following the Louisiana Purchase. Burr and many of his associates were arrested for treason, before their band of armed settlers reached the Ouachita.

During the 1830s, the Ouachita River Valley attracted land speculators from New York and southeastern cities. Its rich soil and accessibility due to the country's elaborate river steamboat network made it desirable. Developers cultivated land for large cotton plantations; dependent on slave labor, cotton production supported new planter wealth in the ante-bellum years. Steamboats ran scheduled trips between Camden, Arkansas and New Orleans, for example. A person could travel from any eastern city to the Ouachita River without touching land, except to transfer from one steamboat to another.

One of the investors from the east was Meriwether Lewis Randolph, the youngest grandson of Thomas Jefferson. He was building a home on the Ouachita River in what is now Clark County, Arkansas, when he died of malaria in 1837. He had been appointed Secretary of the Arkansas Territory by President Andrew Jackson in 1835, and had relinquished his commission when Arkansas became a state in 1836.

Skirmishes took place near the Ouachita River during the American Civil War. On September 1, 1863, forces of the Seventeenth Wisconsin led by Brig. Gen. M.M. Crocker crossed from Natchez, Mississippi to Vidalia, the seat of Concordia Parish, and moved toward the lower Ouachita in the section called the Black River. That night the Confederate steamer Rinaldo was captured by Union forces after a short artillery duel and was destroyed. Crocker fought with the few troops stationed on the Black River and moved toward Harrisonburg, seat of Catahoula Parish.[3]

Natural history[edit]

A floating camp on the Ouachita River in Louisiana

The river continues to be utilized for commercial navigation on a smaller scale than during its "steamboat" days. It is fed by numerous small creeks containing endemic native fish such as killifish. Fishing remains popular in the river for black bass, white bass, bream, freshwater drum, and gar. Concerns about airborne mercury contamination in some areas discourage consumption of the fish for food. Fishing for rainbow trout is popular in the tailwaters of Lakes Ouachita, Hamilton and Catherine in and around Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The river is commercially navigable from Camden, Arkansas, to its terminal point in Jonesville in Catahoula Parish in eastern Louisiana. Upstream of Camden, the river receives substantial recreational use.

The Ouachita is lined for most of its length with deep woods, including substantial wetlands. It has a scenic quality representative of the southwestern Arkansas and northern Louisiana region.

Lists[edit]

Major towns along the river are:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howard Perlman, USGS (2012-10-31). "Lengths of major rivers, from USGS Water-Science School". Ga.water.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed June 3, 2011
  3. ^ John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, pp. 302–303
  • William Least Heat-Moon, Roads to Quoz, An American Mosey (2008), ISBN 978-0-316-11025-9. Section I – "Down an Ancient Valley" describes a trip down the Ouachita River valley.

External links[edit]

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