Sibley Lake Patrol
Sibley Lake, a man-made lake located in west Natchitoches that serves as the City’s primary source of drinking water and the surrounding area and is owned and managed under a cooperative endeavor agreement between the City of Natchitoches and Natchitoches Waterworks District #1. The lake is not owned by the State of Louisiana; however, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is involved in the protection and management of the lake.
Sibley Lake was originally known as Lake Terre Noir in 1875. Later, Lake Terre Noir was drained and remained a swampy, wooded area until it was developed into a water source in the early sixties. Sibley Lake is named in honor of Dr. John Sibley, an early settler and colorful character who came to Natchitoches from New England in 1803. He acquired land as part of a government tract including the Northwestern State University property to land extending beyond the sector known as Sibley Lake.
Sibley Lake covers approximately 2,000 acres and has a 38 mile shoreline. Recreational activities include fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, camping, and picnicking. There are certain rules and regulations that apply to all individuals who use the lake.
Every person on Sibley Lake ages 16 to 60 should have a recreation permit for boating, skiing or any other water activity.
Permits cost $10 each and can be bought at One Stop Grocery on La. Hwy. 504 and Wal-Mart. Barge permits are also available for $25.00. The permits are good for one year from July 1 to June 30 of each year.
Public Boat launching ramps are located on Highway 504, Oak Grove Community, and on old Highway 1 at Sibley Lake Marina. There is no charge for public boat launching. There is one commercial ramp at Settles Boat Marina on Highway 6 West. No swimming is allowed in the boat launch area. (Signs are posted)
Everyone should adhere to no-wake zones and be aware that the speed limit is 5 mph between the red buoys and the shore. The speed limit is in place because of a City Ordinance and is for the safety of all people on the lake.
Those driving boats, jet skis or other devices are prohibited from drinking alcohol. The rules regarding driving automobiles and drinking alcohol apply to those operating any kind of watercraft on the lake.
Sibley Lake presently supports an excellent population of white crappie, channel catfish and largemouth bass. During the months of February and March, large numbers of 1-2 pound crappie concentrate in the shoreline areas of this 2,175 acre impoundment. Crappie are usually caught on live shiners and jig lures. After the spring spawning period, the fish are usually caught in brush and tree tops placed in the lake by crappie fishermen. During the summer and fall, crappie are found suspended in the deeper parts of the lake.
Channel catfish are caught during the spring in the shallows on trotlines, yo-yo’s, and rod and reel, using cut bait and worms. Largemouth bass are caught during the spring on artificial baits on the numerous points and shallow flats throughout the lake. The principal diet of bass in Sibley Lake are the numerous small shad and sunfish associated with the shallow water in the spring and deeper water during the summer, fall and winter months.
Catches of hybrid striper bass are often reported during the spring and summer when the fish are forging on shad and sunfish. Sibley Lake supports a moderate amount of bluegill and redear sunfish. These sunfish species are usually harvested during April and May spawning activity.
If you are interested in hosting a fishing tournament, you must register with the Natchitoches Waterworks District #1 at least two weeks before the tournament date. You can contact the secretary of Waterworks District #1 at 318-471-2513.