Wallace Lake is located approximately fourteen miles south of Shreveport, in Caddo Parish. The present Wallace Lake was created by a dam begun by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in July, 1941, and completed in December, 1946. It is a flood control lake, protecting a large area of agricultural land below it from seasonal inundations. The size of Wallace Lake can vary from as few as 3,000 acres to as much as 9,000 acres, depending on water levels. It is a shallow, heavily wooded lake, used almost exclusively by anglers, duck hunters, and kayak and canoeing enthusiasts.
The lake was named after Mr. Thomas Wallace, the third son of an English family that migrated to Louisiana from Virginia in 1776. He was born in 1780 in Opelousas Louisiana and served as a guide in 1826 for the 1st Federal survey of the Sodo Lake Area. He also provided testimony concerning the head of the great Red River raft in relation to Lake Bodcau to Dr. Joseph Paxton, whose letters describing the Great Raft in the 1820s helped persuade Congress to appropriate funds for its removal. Wallace purchased lands south of Shreveport in the area of the current lake and built a house that later served as the first seat of justice for Caddo Parish in 1838.
Because of the proximity of large, more accessible lakes such as Cross, Bistineau and Caddo, Wallace Lake is perhaps the lesser known of the Lakes of the Great Raft that have been sustained by dams. Because so much of the lake is densely sheltered by Cypress brakes, and consists of still, shallow water, Wallace Lake appears to be more vulnerable to giant salvinia and other invasive aquatic plants. During periods of optimum growth of giant salvinia, much of the lake can be impenetrable to small craft.
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