Considered the longest bayou in the world, Bayou Bartholomew begins near Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and flows 359 river miles to the Ouachita River in Sterlington, Louisiana.
Bayou Bartholomew was one of the most important waterways for transportation in the interior Delta during the 1800s. Once a pristine stream that people drank from, today’s bayou has problems with sediment, pollutants and logjams. The nonprofit Bayou Bartholomew Alliance works to preserve the bayou and educate the public about its importance. Louisiana has protected much of its portion of the bayou through its Natural and Scenic River System. The University of Arkansas at Monticello is currently working to restore The Taylor Log House, an original dog-trot plantation house built in 1846 which is located on the bank of Bayou Bartholomew in Drew County.
A Work In Progress
The Taylor Log House will be available for public tours in the near future. Drew County is working toward building a boat access to Bayou Bartholomew at the bayou bridge on state highway 277 east of Monticello and near Tillar. The bayou can be observed at the Taylor Log House site.
Wildlife and Habitat
The Arkansas River created the bayou about 2,000 years ago when it moved east and the leisurely bayou developed in the old river bed. Watch for alligators and basking turtles, wintering waterfowl, and migratory songbirds among cypress and tupelo trees.
The bayou offers fishing for crappie, bream and catfish. Minnows, jigs, spinners and light line are recommended for crappie and bream; fish for catfish on the bottom with worms, minnows and stink baits. Don't forget to check AGFC fishing regulations.
Hunting is allowed on parts of Bayou Bartholomew. Ducks migrate along the bayou and the Arkansas River. In late fall and winter, look for mallards, wood ducks and hooded mergansers. Check city ordinances and AGFC hunting regulations before hunting.