Description - The Ouachita River originates in Polk County, Arkansas, and flows 510 miles in a southerly direction to Jonesville, Louisiana, where it converges with the Tensas and Little Rivers to form the Black River. Black River meets the Red River (J. Bennett Johnston Waterway) 41 miles south of Jonesville. About 28½ miles below the mouth of the Black River, The Red River comes to a junction with the Atchafalaya River and the western end of the seven mile long Old River, which historically linked these rivers to the Mississippi River.
The Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project was began in 1902 and is a 337-mile long waterway. The project stretches from central Arkansas to Jonesville, Louisiana where it converges with the Tensas and Little Rivers to form the Black River.
- In 1924 construction was completed on the system of six locks and dams. In later years outdated locks were replaced and presently there are four locks and dams on the waterway, each with lock chambers 84 feet wide and 600 feet in length and having from 3 to 5 tainter gates. The locks and dams have a lift of from 12 feet up to 30 feet, which provides a minimum 9-foot deep and 100-foot wide navigation channel to accommodate barge traffic from the Red River north to Camden, Arkansas.
Recreation - The project also provides for a multitude of recreational opportunities with facilities spread along the entire length of the river.
The Louisiana Field Office, located in Monroe, La, manages natural resources, recreation and flood control on the Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project. Currently the Louisiana Field Office manages 23 recreation areas along the Ouachita-Black Rivers and it's tributaries, including the Boeuf River, Tensas River, Little River and the control structure at Catahoula Dam. In total there are 209 picnic sites, 169 campsites, 24 boat ramps, and 1 swimming beach.
Climate - Southern Louisiana experiences a subtropical climate that's warm throughout the year. Winter months bring low temperatures near 40 degrees F and highs above 55 degrees F. During the summer expect high temperatures to reach 95 degrees F frequently, with mid-afternoon showers. Humidity is highest in August and September. Northern regions of the state have cooler winters and somewhat warmer summers than the south. Low temperatures in the winter dip into the high 30s and highs reach 60 degrees F. July and August are the hottest months with average high temperatures reaching 100 degrees. Humidity is slightly lower in the northern uplands and the average rainfall in May is higher than any other month.
The Calion pool is located on teh Ouachita-Black River system in northern Lousiana. A Map is available above on this page.