What better way to start celebrating 50 years of Lake D’Arbonne than a quick look at the history of the lake and a few facts and figures:
The dream of Lake D’Arbonne became reality in 1957, the Louisiana state legislature appropriated over one million dollars with the promise of more appropriations later, for the D’Arbonne Lake project. The lake project took off and six years later was completed in October of 1963 at a cost of approximately three million dollars.
D’Arbonne Lake, 80 percent of which is located in Union Parish and 20 percent of which is located in Lincoln Parish, covers 15,280 acres, is 15 miles in length, has a shoreline of over 100 miles, and a watershed area of approximately 1,920 square miles. It has an average depth of six feet, and is three miles wide at its widest point with an average width one and one-half miles. Normal pool stage is elevation 80 feet mean sea level (some sites list this as 81 — they are wrong).
Little Corney Bayou and Corney Bayou are the chief contributing sources, but the lake is also fed by Bayou D’Arbonne, Middle Fork Bayou, and Little Bayou D’Arbonne. A dam and spillway built across Bayou D’Arbonne provide a means of holding water in the lake while controlling the water level except in instances of extremely high water, which drains slowly from the lake. A new tainter gate project at the spillway is expected to be completed in just a few months should help alleviate that issue.
Stocked by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department, the lake attracts numerous fishermen. Many campsites, summer homes, year-round homes, and commercial landings have been constructed. The lake also as a small airstrip for private planes. Around the lake, you’ll find one of the finest state parks in Louisiana, complete with cabins, tennis courts, a swimming pool, boat launch ramp, fishing pier, trailer hook-ups, meeting rooms, and pavilions. It can be accessed via Hwy 2 west of Farmerville. Other rental property is also available on the lake. For more information about that, check out the Union Parish Tourist Commission site by clicking on the logo at the upper right of this page.
The Bayou D’Arbonne Lake Watershed District Commission is a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana and is governed by a board composed of seven commissioners appointed by the governor, each of whom resides within Lincoln or Union parish. Any vacancy shall be filled by the governor for the unexpired term. The commission meets monthly on the third Monday of the month with the exception of December, in which there is no monthly meeting. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m.in the Union Parish Courthouse Annex, located at 303 East Water Street, Farmerville.
In the coming weeks, we will have much, much more about Lake D’Arbonne and her first 50 years.