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Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Phone: 601-432-2400

Friday, March 01, 2013

Fishing 2013: Flood Control Reservoirs

Jackson - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists predict mixed fishing success in 2013 on the Corps of Engineers' flood control reservoirs (Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada lakes). These are some of the best crappie waters in the nation, supporting about 1.5 million hours of fishing yearly.

The 2012 drought and low lake levels had moderate to extreme effects on fish populations. Sampling conducted by MDWFP biologists found the big 2009 white crappie year class and the majority of these fish were over 11 inches. This big year class of crappie should provide anglers good fishing in 2013.

Largemouth bass numbers were lower compared to previous years, but size and body condition were good. Low water had similar effects on bluegill (bream) numbers; the largest bream were at Sardis and Enid. Bass and bream numbers were lower at Arkabutla, where water levels dropped below winter pool during the summer.

Sampling revealed high numbers of blue catfish (white river cats) at Arkabutla, Sardis, and Grenada. Rods-and-reels, trotlines, jugs or "noodles", and hand-grabbling are all popular and effective for catfish. White bass numbers were also lower than normal, but keeping these fast-growing, short-lived fish is encouraged to free up forage for more popular predators. Shad spawned enough to keep all predators in relatively good shape.

If you are interested in fishing these lakes, food, lodging, and other amenities are available in nearby Hernando, Coldwater, Sardis, Batesville, Oxford, Water Valley, and Grenada.  MDWFP state parks are located on Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes; book ahead as they fill up quickly during peak times.

For more information regarding wildlife or hunting in Mississippi, visit our website at http://www.mdwfp.com or call us at 601-432-2400. 

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