State officials said Tuesday that the process of draining Lake Monroe, a Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks state lake, has been completed and it is now closed to fishing.

The 99-acre lake near Aberdeen in Monroe County, was built in 1954 and at 60 years is among the oldest in the MDWFP system.

“Draining Lake Monroe will allow us to make needed repairs to the water level control structure, fishing piers and boat ramp,” said Larry Pugh, the MDWFP’s director of fisheries. “After repairs are completed, we will restock the lake with bass, bream, crappie and catfish.”

During that three- to four-year process, fishing will be off limits, but it shouldn’t create a hardship on area fishermen. Northeast Mississippi is loaded with options, both on a small and big lake level. 

Trace State Park near Pontotoc, and Elvis Presley Lake and Lake Lee at Tombigbee State Park near Tupelo are all MDWFP lakes, and nearby Davis Lake near Houston is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. All are within about an hour’s drive of Lake Monroe. The Tenn-Tom Waterway is nearby, including the popular Aberdeen pool.

Work at another Northeast Mississippi fishing hole, Lake Lamar Bruce at Saltillo, has been completed and the restocking phase of the renovation is underway. The lake should reopen in 2015.


Regulation changes

The public has until Feb. 20 to comment on the MDWFP’s proposed fishing regulation changes for 2014, including one that would ban limb lines and set hooks at Lake Washington in Washington County. Trotlines, free-floating devices (jugs) and yo-yos will still be allowed at the popular oxbow lake at Glen Allan.

Other proposed changes:

*  A 15-inch minimum size limit and a daily creel limit of two largemouth bass at Grenada Lake North Abutment Lake.  

*  Creel limits for the Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area ponds in Panola County would increase to statewide limits for all fish.

* Skiers visiting State Fishing Lakes will be allowed to ski on Memorial Day and the July 4th and Labor Day holidays from noon until sunset.

“Our fisheries biologists propose these regulation changes annually in preparation for the upcoming fishing season,” Pugh said. “These regulations are an important tool that help us provide quality fishing opportunities throughout the state.”

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed change may do so in writing to the Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, 1505 Eastover Dr., Jackson, MS 39211, no later than Feb. 20. The regulations can be found online at mdwfp.com.