Saline River (Ouachita River)
Location of the Saline River within the Ouachita watershed
|Origin||Ouachita Mountains, Saline County, Arkansas|
|Location||Arkansas, United States|
|Length||325 km (202 mi)|
|Source elevation||79 m (259 ft)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2008)|
The Saline River begins in the eastern foothills of the Ouachita Mountains in Saline and Garland counties and is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the Ouachita River Basin. The river has four headwater tributaries, the South Fork, the Middle Fork, the Alum Fork, and the North Fork, which merge north of the city of Benton.
The upper section of the Saline is a clear, cold-water stream with a series of fast running shoals interspersed with quiet pools. The central section of the river has clear to murky water with long slower moving pools interrupted by short stretches of fast water. The lower section is sluggish with murky water. During parts of the year the lower stretches of the river can be somewhat clogged with brush or trees.
The river empties into the Ouachita River in the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge. The river has a gravel bottom throughout its length.
The Saline is relatively free of development. The river runs through dense forests which are home to deer, mink, otters, beaver, muskrats, turkey, squirrel as well as alligators in southern sections of the river. The river provides excellent fishing, scenery, and wilderness floating.
Smallmouth, largemouth, rock bass, and spotted bass as well as warmouth, longear, green sunfish, bluegills, channel catfish, and crappie inhabit the river.