About Caddo Lake


 

Caddo Lake is a place of great scenic beauty and biological diversity. It sits astride the Texas-Louisiana border about 15 to 20 miles north of Interstate Highway 20.  The ecosystem here predates that of any other large lake in Texas and contains stands of bald cypress trees 250 to 400 years old.  Caddo Lake has been recognized by the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance.  More than 7,000 acres here are now protected by the state of Texas as a Park and Wildlife Management Area; and on October 21, 2000, another 7200 acres were transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a National Wildlife Refuge.  These wetlands provide critical habitat for a great variety of flora and fauna, including 44 threatened and endangered species, as well as the most diverse native freshwater fish fauna in the state. 

 

The 32,000-acre lake is made up of a sprawling maze of bayous, sloughs and channels through pine and hardwood forest, bald cypress swamp and open lake.  It's best viewed by canoe or boat, which can be rented at the State Park or from marinas in the area.  Boaters should carry a map of the lake and a compass to avoid getting lost among the densely wooded, confusing channels.  Better yet, hire a guide, or tour the lake on one of several tour boats available in the area.

 

Once known as Fairy Lake, this area surrounds visitors with its own distinctive, magical music.  In the warmer months listen for Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Acadian and Great Crested Flycatchers, Wood Thrushes, White-eyed, Red-eyed, and Yellow-throated Vireos, and at least 13 species of warblers.  At almost any time of year, one can hear Fish Crows, Red-shouldered Hawks, Barred Owls, Pileated Woodpeckers, Brown-headed and White-breasted Nuthatches and more.  In fall and winter, an assortment of geese and ducks, wrens and sparrows, and other voices join the chorus.  Other less-vocal residents include Anhingas, ibises, Wood Storks, egrets, herons, Wood Ducks, Mississippi Kites, Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks. 

 


 

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ast updated:  May 21, 2011

 


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