Cache River (Arkansas)

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Cache River
Cache River in Woodruff County, AR 001.jpg
Cache River, Woodruff County
Country United States
State Arkansas
 - right Bayou De View
City Clarendon
SourceUnnamed drainage ditches
 - location Butler County, Missouri
 - coordinates 36°13′40″N90°36′42″W / 36.22778°N 90.61167°W / 36.22778; -90.61167
Mouth White River (Arkansas)
 - location Clarendon, Arkansas
 - elevation151 ft (46 m) [1]
 - coordinates 34°42′7″N91°19′30″W / 34.70194°N 91.32500°W / 34.70194; -91.32500 Coordinates: 34°42′7″N91°19′30″W / 34.70194°N 91.32500°W / 34.70194; -91.32500
Length213 mi (343 km)
Protection status
Official name Cache-Lower White Rivers
Designated 21 November 1989
Reference no. 442 [2]
Map of the Cache River

The Cache River is a tributary of the White River, 213 mi (343 km) long, in northeastern Arkansas in the United States. Its headwaters also drain a small portion of southeastern Missouri. Via the White River, the Cache is part of the Mississippi River watershed, placing the river and surrounding watershed in the Arkansas Delta.

Tributary stream or river that flows into a main stem river or lake

A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.

Arkansas State of the United States of America

Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.



The river supports 53 mammalian species, over 200 bird species, and nearly 50 species of reptiles and amphibians. The refuge is also the most important wintering area for mallard ducks and other migratory waterfowl on the continent. As a result, low-lying areas in the vicinity of the river's lower course are a popular destination for duck hunters. The area has the only remaining population of native black bears in the state. This is also where the ivory-billed woodpecker was recently speculated to have been sighted (after it was believed to be extinct for 60 years). [3] The watershed also contains the largest remaining tract of contiguous bottomland hardwood forest found in North America. Because of these combination of these unique features, the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge was created along approximately 90 miles (140 km) along the river's lower reaches. [4]

Duck common name for many species in the bird family Anatidae

Duck is the common name for a large number of species in the waterfowl family Anatidae which also includes swans and geese. Ducks are divided among several subfamilies in the family Anatidae; they do not represent a monophyletic group but a form taxon, since swans and geese are not considered ducks. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.

Hunting Searching, pursuing, catching and killing wild animals

Hunting is the practice of killing or trapping animals, or pursuing or tracking them with the intent of doing so. Hunting wildlife or feral animals is most commonly done by humans for food, recreation, to remove predators that can be dangerous to humans or domestic animals, or for trade. Lawful hunting is distinguished from poaching, which is the illegal killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species. The species that are hunted are referred to as game or prey and are usually mammals and birds.

Ivory-billed woodpecker species of bird

The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world, at roughly 20 inches (51 cm) long and 30 inches (76 cm) in wingspan. It is native to types of virgin forest ecosystems found in the Southeastern United States and Cuba. Habitat destruction and, to a lesser extent, hunting have decimated populations so thoroughly that the species is very probably extinct, though sporadic reports of sightings have continued into the 21st century. The ivory-billed woodpecker, dubbed the "holy grail bird" due to its appearance and behavior, is the subject of many rediscovery efforts and much speculation.


The Cache is formed by a confluence of agricultural ditches in Butler County, Missouri and soon enters Arkansas, flowing generally south-southwestwardly. Several portions of the river's upper course have been straightened and channelized. It joins the White River at the town of Clarendon, Arkansas.

Butler County, Missouri County in the United States

Butler County is a county located in the southeast Ozark Foothills Region in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 Census, the county's population was 42,794. The largest city and county seat is Poplar Bluff. The county was officially organized from Wayne County on February 27, 1849, and is named after former U.S. Representative William O. Butler (D-Kentucky), who was also an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States. The first meeting in the Butler County Courthouse was held on June 18, 1849.

River engineering

River engineering is the process of planned human intervention in the course, characteristics, or flow of a river with the intention of producing some defined benefit. People have intervened in the natural course and behaviour of rivers since before recorded history—to manage the water resources, to protect against flooding, or to make passage along or across rivers easier. From Roman times, rivers have been used as a source of hydropower. From the late 20th century, river engineering has had environmental concerns broader than immediate human benefit and some river engineering projects have been concerned exclusively with the restoration or protection of natural characteristics and habitats.

Clarendon, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Clarendon is a city in, and the county seat of, Monroe County, Arkansas, United States. Located in the Arkansas Delta, the city's position on the White River at the mouth of the Cache River has defined the community since first incorporating in 1859. Although the river has brought devastation and disaster to the city occasionally throughout history, it has also provided economic opportunities, transportation, recreation and tourism to the city.

The river is a slow muddy river with meandering channels, sloughs, swampy areas, and oxbow lakes.

Swamp A forested wetland

A swamp is a wetland that is forested. Many swamps occur along large rivers where they are critically dependent upon natural water level fluctuations. Other swamps occur on the shores of large lakes. Some swamps have hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodic inundation or soil saturation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp forests and "transitional" or shrub swamps. In the boreal regions of Canada, the word swamp is colloquially used for what is more correctly termed a bog, fen, or muskeg. The water of a swamp may be fresh water, brackish water or seawater. Some of the world's largest swamps are found along major rivers such as the Amazon, the Mississippi, and the Congo.

Oxbow lake U-shaped lake formed by a cut-off meander of a river

An oxbow lake is a U-shaped lake that forms when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water. This landform is so named for its distinctive curved shape, which resembles the bow pin of an oxbow. In Australia, an oxbow lake is called a billabong, from the indigenous Wiradjuri language. In south Texas, oxbows left by the Rio Grande are called resacas.


During the American Civil War, the Battle of Cotton Plant was fought along the Cache River at the town of Cotton Plant.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

The Battle of Cotton Plant was a battle of the American Civil War. The battle was fought on July 7, 1862, in Woodruff County, Arkansas.

Cotton Plant, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Cotton Plant is a city in Woodruff County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 649.


The name of the river is probably a Picardie word meaning "hunt" as a reference to the abundant wildlife along the river. The first explorer into the area was Father Marquette, for whom Picard was the native tongue.

Picard is a langues d'oïl dialect of the Indo-European language family spoken in the northernmost part of France and southern Belgium. Administratively, this area is divided between the French Hauts-de-France region and the Belgian Wallonia along the border between both countries due to its traditional core being the districts of Tournai and Mons.

See also

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Cache River National Wildlife Refuge

The Cache River National Wildlife Refuge is a 68,993 acre (223 km2) (2014) wildlife refuge in the state of Arkansas managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS#. The refuge is one of the Ramsar wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention signed in 1971. It is one of the most important wintering area for ducks and the largest remaining tract of contiguous bottomland hardwood forest on the North American continent. In 2005, a possible sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to be extinct, brought attention to the refuge.

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Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

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  1. "Cache River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  2. "Cache-Lower White Rivers". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. Audubon Magazine, July–August, 2007. Page 16. The Ivory Bill, Giving Up The Ghost?
  4. Barnett, Paula Harmon (March 24, 2014). "Cache River National Wildlife Refuge". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture . Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System . Retrieved January 23, 2016.