Barnett Reservoir officials address fishing conflicts – Jackson Clarion Ledger

Conflicts between leaseholders and anglers on Barnett Reservoir aren’t common, but they are frequent enough that the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, which oversees the impoundment and surrounding areas, wants them resolved.

“From time to time, fishermen and leaseholders disagree if the fishermen have the right to be there,” said John Sigman, reservoir general manager. “It’s rare, but it happens from time to time each year.”

After anglers asked if they had the right to fish various piers and boat slips, reservoir policies were reviewed and a statement was issued.

Land leased around the reservoir is much the same as private land and is off-limits to reservoir users. Residential boat houses, piers and slips aren’t quite as black and white.

According to the statement, “Piers or boathouses attached to private leases are more complicated. Some leaseholders may be paying for use of the water as part of their lease.”

Reservoir officials determined that anglers may fish inside and around residential boathouses and slips, but may not enter or tie up to them. Anglers are also barred from touching the structures or boats occupying them in any way, including with fishing lures.

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At Main Harbor and Sunset Marina, the rules are basically the same. Anglers may fish inside and around the structures, but may not tie up to, touch or enter any of them without permission.

Sigman stressed that courtesy and respect for leaseholder wishes should be considered by anglers.

“I would advise everybody that it is a large lake and if you’re in an area where someone does not want you to be, move on,” Sigman said. “There are plenty of other great fishing spots.”

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Barnett bass meeting

Ross Barnett Reservoir bass fishermen are invited to a meeting to hear about the latest data on the bass population from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Scheduled for 6 p.m. on Feb. 9, the meeting will take place at the Turcotte Education Center located on Mississippi 43 between the Natchez Trace and Goshen Springs. Topics expected to be covered include, data on the bass population, the effect of the new 14-inch minimum on bass, and vegetation control efforts. Plans for stocking in 2017 will also be discussed.

All bass fishermen are encouraged to attend and comments and questions are welcome. For more information, contact reservoir consultant Bobby Cleveland at bobbyc7754@yahoo.com.

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Contact Brian Broom at 601-961-7225 or bbroom@gannett.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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