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Bayou D'Arbonne Lake offers 15,250 watery acres in northern Louisiana's Sportsman's Paradise tourism region, fairly close to the Arkansas and Mississippi borders. Fed mainly by Bayou D'Arbonne, the lake's central recreational activities are fishing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking.
Roughly 80% of Bayou D'Arbonne Lake falls within Union Parish, and the other 20% in Lincoln Parish. It has an average depth of eight feet, a maximum depth of 40 feet, and about 100 miles of shoreline. The lake is shaped roughly like an irregular "Y," and was dammed in 1963 to provide water for industrial, agricultural and recreational pursuits. With roughly 3,500 homes surrounding the lake's perimeter, there are plenty of vacation rentals and real estate properties available at Bayou D'Arbonne Lake.
Fishing for crappie is phenomenal at Bayou Lake D'Arbonne, with specimens averaging about 1.25 pounds and maxing out at just over 3 pounds. Crappie prefer shallow water during February to May. Catfish, bass, perch, panfish and bream are also plentiful here at Lake D'Arbonne Lake. In 2000, Ed Stellner set a lake record when he reeled in a 15.31 pound bass. Fish are stocked by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and a fishing license is required.
The western branch of Bayou D'Arbonne is adjacent to Lake D'Arbonne State Park, a protected area featuring 655 acres of pine forests, green hills and valleys. A visitor's center, lighted tennis court, swimming pool and various campsites and playgrounds make this park a perfect place for a day outing with the family, or for a multi-day camping trip. There are three trails (Orange Trail, Green Trail, and Blue Trail) of one mile or shorter, and one trail that stretches for four miles (White Trail).
North of Bayou D'Arbonne Lake you'll find the Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, composed of 42,594 acres of wetlands for migratory birds. The refuge is home to endangered and threatened animals such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Louisiana black bear. Deer, turkeys, alligators, beavers and bald eagles can also be observed here. The Ouachita River bisects this beautiful refuge, which includes upland pine forests and bottomland hardwood forests.
Southeast of Bayou D'Arbonne Lake you'll find the D'Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge, near West Monroe and on the western flank of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. It primarily serves as a safe haven for waterfowl, alligators, bald eagles and other bird and wildlife. The 13-mile Bayou D'Arbonne runs through the refuge.
There are plenty of other attractions near Bayou D'Arbonne Lake. Chimin-A-Haut State Park is composed of 503 acres of scenic nature trails, campsites and cabins. History buffs cannot miss out on Poverty Point State Historic Site, an archaeological wonderland of Native American ceremonial mounds constructed between 700 and 1700 years BC. Golfing is superb at the Lake D'Arbonne Country Club.
Farmerville is an interesting historical town located near Bayou D'Arbonne Lake. This land was granted to John Honeycutt by the Spanish government in 1790, who used it as a trapping ground for animals. By 1839 a town had been plotted on this territory, and by 1842 Farmerville had been chartered and incorporated. Various museums and historically significant sites provide hours of fascinating exploration and fun for the whole family.
With its perfect balance of isolated tranquility and the development of creature comforts, Bayou D'Arbonne Lake is a vacationer's dreams come true.
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