Eagle Lake is a large oxbow lake, formerly within the flow of the Mississippi River. The freshwater lake is popular for sportfishing and other recreational uses.
Eagle Lake is a major focus of the annual Eagle Lake Christmas Bird Count, begun in 1999. Significant numbers of ducks, geese, White Pelicans, Double-Crested Cormorants and other water birds use the lake for resting and feeding during the winter. For example, an average of 5,000 Ruddy Ducks is recorded during Christmas Bird Counts. Up to 1,500 American White Pelicans are recorded during the counts. Historical accounts indicate that the lake and the former Eagle Bend of the river harbored concentrations of Bald Eagles. In recent time, six to 10 Bald Eagles can be seen roosting along the lake shore in winter. The lake receives relatively little use by hunters, fishermen and others during the winter, so it provides an open-water refuge for waterfowl.
The lake is managed for recreation, mainly sport fishing. Most of the recreational use occurs during the warmer months, when waterfowl and other birds are not present in large numbers. The water level of the lake is controlled by a structure on Muddy Bayou. Australia Island, a major land mass in the lake, had been cultivated for cotton and other row crops, but it is now being reforested, which will help improve water quality and provide additional habitat for water-dependent raptors such as Bald Eagles and Ospreys.
Main use of Eagle Lake is for fishing. Limited duck hunting occurs.