Caddo Lake State Park gets its name from Caddo Lake, a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs. Depending on rainfall, this maze of slow-moving bayous, wetlands and backwaters covers about 26,810 acres of cypress swamp.
The average depth of the lake is 8 to 10 feet with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20 feet. An angler's delight, the lake contains 71 species of fish. It is especially good for crappie and largemouth and white bass. Naturalists can enjoy stately cypress trees, American lotus and lily pads, as well as waterfowl, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, minks, nutria, beavers, squirrels, armadillos and white-tailed deer.
One of the world’s natural treasures, diverse habitat types may be seen at Caddo Lake, making it a suitable home for a wide variety of flora and fauna. The upland forest of pine, oak and hickory produced many of the native materials used in the original construction of the park. The trees in the bottomland hardwood forest stand tall beside the bald cypress and water tupelo swamps where the stately trees flourish in the quiet backwaters of the lake. In the freshwater marsh, grasses and reeds provide shelter for turtles and a variety of fish, birds, toads and snakes. These habitats make the park an important educational, scientific and recreational resource.
In 1993, Caddo Lake was designated a “Wetland of International Importance, especially as waterfowl habitat,” under the Ramsar Preservation Convention. This international treaty drafted in Ramsar, Iran, seeks to limit the worldwide loss of wetlands. Caddo Lake is the only naturally formed large lake in Texas. Although a natural logjam created the lake, today dams and reservoirs keep its waters entirely under human control.