What to know
Below Lake Ouachita, the Ouachita River continues through the Ouachita Mountains, though two dams interrupt its flow near the resort town of Hot Springs to form lakes Hamilton and Catherine. Below Lake Catherine, the stream travels south past Arkadelphia before leaving the Ouachita Mountain region and entering the West Gulf Coastal Plain, also known in Arkansas as the Timberlands region. Camden, a town known for its Civil War history, lies on the river's path. Before crossing the state's southern border, the stream passes near the towns of Smackover and El Dorado, key sites in southern Arkansas's oil history, and through the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge east of Crossett. Fishing: Although limited in size and big-fish potential, short stretches of the Ouachita River provides excellent seasonal fishing for rainbow trout. Stocked rainbow trout are available in the tailwaters of dams in the Hot Springs area. Cold water releases from Blakely Mountain Dam (Lake Ouachita) and Carpenter Dam (Lake Hamilton) provide good cool season fishing for put-and-take rainbows for short stretches below each dam, from the bank or from a boat. Farther south, anglers seek bass, catfish, crappie, and bream in the Ouachita's waters. The Felsenthal refuge is one of southern Arkansas's most renowned fishing venues.