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Little River (Louisiana)

Coordinates: 31°37′42″N 91°48′36″W / 31.62823°N 91.81013°W / 31.62823; -91.81013
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Little River
Little River
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
SourceConfluence of Dugdemona River and Castor Creek (Little River)
 • locationNear Georgetown, Louisiana
 • coordinates31°47′48″N 92°21′46″W / 31.7966°N 92.3627°W / 31.7966; -92.3627
MouthOuachita River
 • location
 • coordinates
31°37′38″N 91°48′33″W / 31.6273°N 91.8091°W / 31.6273; -91.8091
Length96 miles (154 km)
Basin features

The Little River is a 96-mile-long (154 km)[1] tributary of the Ouachita (Black) River in central Louisiana in the United States.[2] Via the Ouachita and Red rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River. According to the Geographic Names Information System, the Little River has also been known historically as "Bayou Des Nacitoches," "Catahoula Bayou," and "Catahoula River."[3]

The Little River is formed about 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Georgetown by the confluence of the Dugdemona River and Castor Creek. It flows initially southeastwardly along the boundaries of Grant, LaSalle, and Rapides parishes, before turning east-northeastwardly into LaSalle Parish through Catahoula Lake, which is bordered by the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge. In the twentieth century the waste from the oil production and exploration damaged the riparian lands in LaSalle Parish.[4] After passing through the lake, the Little River continues east-northeastwardly into Catahoula Parish, where it joins the Ouachita River from the west at Jonesville, just downstream of the mouth of the Tensas River.[5] (Below the mouth of the Tensas, the Ouachita River is sometimes known as the "Black River."[6]) The Little River, as measured at the USGS station at Rochelle, LA, has a mean annual discharge of 2,260 cubic feet per second.[7]

The state government of Louisiana has designated the uppermost 53 miles (85 km) of the Little River (above Catahoula Lake) as a "Natural and Scenic River." This portion of the river flows through a mixed oak-gum bottomland forest interspersed with stands of bald cypress. The Kisatchie Wold is a natural ridge which borders the north side of the stream.[8] Sixty prehistoric Native American archaeological sites have been identified along this stretch of the river.[9]

See also



  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, accessed June 3, 2011
  2. ^ Columbia Gazetteer of North America entry for Little River Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little River
  4. ^ Arnold, John, and Andrew Jacoby. (2017). “Examining the Public Trust Doctrine’s Role in Conserving Natural Resources on Louisiana’s Public Lands.” Tulane Environmental Law Journal, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 181-182, JSTOR website Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  5. ^ DeLorme (2003). Louisiana Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-286-2
  6. ^ Columbia Gazetteer of North America entry for Ouachita River Archived 2004-11-21 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "USGS Surface Water data for Louisiana: USGS Surface-Water Annual Statistics".
  8. ^ Delcourt, Hazel R. “Presettlement Vegetation of the North of Red River Land District, Louisiana.” Castanea, vol. 41, no. 2, 1976, pp. 122–39. JSTOR website Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  9. ^ Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (2002). State of Louisiana Water Quality Management Plan Archived 2006-10-09 at the Wayback Machine: Appendix B: Descriptions of Louisiana's Natural and Scenic Rivers (PDF)

31°37′42″N 91°48′36″W / 31.62823°N 91.81013°W / 31.62823; -91.81013