41 Red River Facts: Ecosystem, History, Trivia, And Much More!

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 13, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Jan 21, 2022
Red River is major source of US water

The Red River is incredibly fun to travel through when visiting Louisiana.

Yes, we have indeed grown to hear that water has no color, but we have gathered some amazing facts about the less-known Red River. It is a great place to visit when you want to go on a vacation or have a wonderful experience with your friends and family.

However, people may be confused whenever they think about swimming in the very beautiful Red River. Scientifically the water of the river is not crystal clear, but the good news is it does not contain elements that can cause harm to humans.

Fun Facts About The Red River

The Red River's historical significance cannot be overstated. The Red River Valley and the Red River have been home to some of the world's first civilizations and the defining moment in the country's history. The river's true self can be a source of inspiration or frustration, depending on your perspective.

Also, it has had its fair share of problems throughout its history, including flooding, pollution, and even near-extinction—but these are all part of what makes the river so great.

  • The Red River encompasses around 1.2 million sq mi (3.1 million sq km) and is known as the third largest river basin globally.
  • The Red River was once considered a tributary of the Mississippi river, but it is no longer the tributary.
  • The North Fork is considered to be a branch of the river.
  • The red river basin is known to collect water from 31 States.
  • Around 40% of the US is covered with the river's watershed.
  • Lake Winnibigoshish is formed at the river's widest point, around 11 mi (17.7 km).
  • Lake Pepin is formed at the widest point of the shipping channel. It is around 2 mi (3.2 km) wide.
  • At Lake Winnibigoshish of the Red River, water skiing was first invented by Ralph Samuelson at the age of 18 years. However, the patent for water skis was obtained by Fred Waller in the year 1925, and the product was known as Dolphin Akwa Skees.
  • The red river was crossed fully by two people. Martin Strel first crossed it in 2002. He crossed it in 68 days. Next, in 2015, the American navy combat Chris ring crossed the red river in 181 days.
  • Thomas Jefferson initiated the Red River expedition in 1806 as he wanted to explore various new lands of the Louisiana purchase.
  • In 1806, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike received the orders to find the river source. For this, he went up the Arkansas River and reached downstream. However, it turned out to be the Rio Grande.
  • Captain Randolph Barnes Marcey was the person who successfully carried out the Red River exploration.
  • The watershed of the major river of south expands to about 65,590 sq mi (169,900 sq km)
  • The flat basin is the major characteristic of the river.
  • The waterbody is known to have a very arid drainage basin.
  • Groundwater is the major source of sustenance for the river.
  • The main stem of the old river, the southern fork, is around 120 mi (190 km) long and is known as the dog town fork. Also, Lake Texoma is formed at its mouth.


Facts About The Red River's Importance

As you can see, the Red River of the South is an excellent place for anyone to go and experience nature at its best. It provides so many benefits to the people who visit it, and it will be remembered as one of the most outstanding scenic highway trip locations for many years to come.

It was once a part of the Mississippi River and has a length of 1360 mi (2188 km).

The river provides an outlet from New Orleans to northeast Texas. Also, its drainage basin covers multiple cities and towns.

It's easy to travel here with your vehicle, and it is an excellent place for tourists and those who live in this area. Facts on the importance of the river include the following:

  • The water body is a source of life for farmers and irrigates their farmland.
  • It also provides a vast amount of food to people around. People who enjoy the abundant resources provided by this vast body of water have multiple food and commercial benefits.
  • The Red River is a major source of US water, recreational and commercial vessels. It also provides the US with a massive supply of electricity.
  • North American Indians used to live in this area of land. A small number of tribes lived here, and they lived a nomadic lifestyle. They hunted the animals in the vicinity for food and used the river to get water, wash, and other essentials.
  • However, now the river is one of the best reasons to travel through Louisiana, as it is popularly known for being one of the most scenic routes. The Red River is a waterway that begins in Iowa and travels through Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
  • The Red River is a major area for fishing and hunting because of how large it is. Many people also enjoy canoeing here because it is very easy. The water body that flows into the Atchafalaya River to Atchafalaya Bay can easily be paddled down in places where there are no bridges at all.
  • This river is also a great place for braving through some of the fastest currents in the world, as there are several public water skiing contests held here.
  • The South Bank is the border between Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Also, it flows through the Atchafalaya River.
  • The dam built in the river is known as the Denison dam.
  • The Denison dam was built in 1943 above the river's mouth, and at this point, Lake Texoma was formed.
  • The Washita Rivers is also an important tributary of the waterbody.
  • Caddo Lake has emerged out of the river. Also, the Little Wichita Rivers are streams formed out of the water body.
  • The red river is one of the dirtiest rivers as it has excess sediment deposition.
Caddo Lake has emerged out of the river

Depth And Width Of The Red River

Indeed, we can not imagine how deep is a water body is.

But here, we present the depth and width of the Red River.

  • The Red River measures around 1,360 mi (2,190 km) in length.
  • The average flow of the river is about 57,000 cu ft per second (1,600 cu m per second).


Red River Fishing Facts

When we are talking about rivers, how can we miss mentioning and knowing more about the fishing facts of the Red River? Here are some fishing facts that are essential to know about the river.

  • No expensive equipment is necessary to fish on the Red River. A hook, rod, and reel are enough to enjoy fishing in the South bank.
  • The fact that the fishes in the waterbody are self-sustaining means that there is no necessity of stocking for population maintenance in Lake Texoma.
  • It is interesting to know more about life in the Red River. Internationally, Red River is recognized as an attractive site for the big beautiful catfish.
  • The waterbody is home to various famous aqua species.
  • In abundance, one can find lake sturgeon, drum, and goldeye fishes that are rarely seen in any river.
  • Accordingly, reports revealed that there are 70 species in the Red River. This makes it an attractive place for tourism as well.
  • The north fork branch is especially interesting for people looking to enjoy some fishing activity as it is a great place to fish.


Did You Know?

Usually, people are amazed by hearing and knowing about a river whose color is red. But then, the character of curiosity that we all possess forces us to ask about the reason behind the facts it witnesses.

  • As the name suggests, the color of the Red River is reddish due to the sediments that are flowing through the water.
  • Red River is salty, and the reason behind it lay inside the ancient times' tales when other water bodies were evaporated but left sodium chloride behind. Hence the Red River emerged with the water being salty. Still, the salinity of the Red River is not too much and is relatively neutral.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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