Saline Bayou

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Saline Bayou in Winn-Natchitoches Parish

Saline Bayou is a 100-mile[1] tributary of the Red River in Louisiana. In 1986, it became the first blackwater river in the American South to have been designated in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. It is located within the Kisatchie National Forest of southwest Louisiana.[2]

Saline Bayou flows mostly through cypress hardwood bottomlands, but only {nineteen miles is within the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.[2] It is popular for floating with canoes.[3] The bayou forms the western boundary of Winn Parish. Along U.S. Highway 71, south of the village of Clarence in Natchitoches Parish, it separates Winn from neighboring Natchitoches Parish, where it meets the Red River.[2]

The bayou is black in color because of tannic acid. It hosts abundant bird and animal life and is heavily wooded. Among the creatures found in Saline Bayou are woodpeckers, mink, snapping turtles, snakes, and alligators.[2]

Saline Lake is an artificial impoundment of Saline Bayou, located on the Natchitoches/Winn border some twelve miles northeast of Natchitoches. It encompasses 8,400 acres and is heavily wooded, particularly known for its fishing: white perch, large mouth bass, and sunfish.


  1. U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed June 3, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Tim Palmer (1993). The Wild and Scenic Rivers of America. Google Books. Retrieved on August 29, 2009. 
  3. Saline Bayou National Wild and Scenic River. Retrieved on August 29, 2009.