Skip to content

Catahoula Lake

Catahoula Lake




Currently a Ramsar Site

Protects biological diverse wetland flora, fauna and/or their habitat

Supports significant numbers of wetland-dependent fauna, such as water birds or fish

Catahoula Lake is a 12, 150 ha lake and wetland complex managed by the state of Louisiana, the USFWS and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The wetland is fed by the Little River and is home to numerous species of geese, such as white-fronted gees, ducks including and not limited to pintails, canvas backs, teal, widgeon, gadwals, shovelers, and over 20 species of wading birds such as woodstorks. Over 400,000 birds use this wetland at peak. It is also a major stopping area in the lower Mississippi Flyway. Significant stands of plant species such as Cyperus and Echinochola contribute to the diversity of the area. The lake is an important nursery for many fish species and is habitat to large mouth bass, various centrarchids, catfish, gar, freshwater drum and buffalo. It is also habitat for various species of crawfish, frogs, turtles and is home to the alligator. This area serves as important flood water storage for northern Louisiana.

Exemplary Ecosystem Services:

Maintains ecological connectivity/cohesion

Recreation (birdwatching, ecotourism)

Flood storage/mitigation



Public Access: Yes

Current and Future Threats: Pest Plants and animals (current with a control plan in place); water quality (control plan in place) and Climate change (future with water management strategies being developed and implemented to mitigate and adapt to potential changes)

Conservation status: RAMSAR Designation

Adjacent Land Use: Agricultural (cropland, orchards, greenhouse)

Approximate natural buffer width:

> 100 ft

State of Louisiana Wildlife Management area, USFWS National Wildlife Refuge


Approximate size: 12, 150 ha

General wetland characterization:

Inland Shallow Fresh Marsh

Inland Open Fresh Water


Adjacent Water Bod(ies):


Name of body of water: Catahoula Lake

Surficial Geology:

Soils are fine sedimentary materials. There are sandy ridges overlayed by silt. Deeper there is a clay pan.


Catahoula Lake Soil Survey map
To the north the soil series are Libuse, Gore and Vick. To the south are Alligator, Sharkey and Libuse. To the West Una, Zenoria and Guyton


Dominant flora: Cyperus and Echinochloa. Woody plants include baldcypress, water elm and swamp privet

Unique flora: none in general. However, this area is habitat for the largest regional stands of Cyperus.

Dominant fauna: Pintails, canvasbacks, crawfish, white-fronted geese, gadwalls, teal, herons, large mouth bass, catfish, sunfish

Rare fauna: Alligator, eagles


Catahoula Lake Taxon list

Catahoula Lake RAMSAR RIS US523RIS


Applicant First Name: Mark A.

Applicant Last Name: Ford

Applicant E-mail Address:


Powered By GrowthZone
Scroll To Top