Catahoula Lake

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Conservation Status and Threats
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
If Other: State of Louisiana Wildlife Management area, USFWS National Wildlife Refuge
Contact Information
Applicant First Name: Mark A.
Applicant Last Name: Ford
Applicant E-mail Address: bultongue@yahoo.com
General Information
Criteria:
  • 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
Ecology
Approximate size: 12, 150 ha
General wetland characterization:
  • Inland Shallow Fresh Marsh
  • Inland Open Fresh Water
Adjacent Water Bod(ies):
  • Lake
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.

Soils:

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

Flora and Fauna
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
Additional Information
Please upload your first piece of evidence: Catahoula Lake Taxon list US523taxo2005_EN.pdf
Please upload your second piece of evidence: Catahoula Lake RAMSAR RIS US523RIS.pdf
Address:
Catahoula Lake, Louisiana, USA, United States

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