How excited are Northeast Mississippi fishermen about Wednesday’s reopening of Lake Lamar Bruce at Saltillo?

“Well, the boats are already lining up at the gate, today (Tuesday), and it’s not even noon,” said 

Larry Pugh, the chief of fisheries for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. “They are getting in line.”

The 300-acre lake, part of the MDWFP’s state lakes system, has been closed since 2010 to repair its aging water control structure. In the meantime, state wildlife officials did a lot more work to the lake, including cutting new channels, adding stake and gravel beds, and reworking wooden and earthen piers.

Lamar Bruce also received fresh stockings of Florida largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, channel catfish and Magnolia crappie.

The lake was open briefly on Saturday for a youth fishing event, and Pugh said between 250-300 youths showed up to participate.

Lake Lamar Bruce will reopen to the general public on Wednesday, May 6, at 6 a.m.

In an attempt to protect the first-year class of Florida bass to maturity, the MDWFP has established a 16- to 22-inch slot limit on bass. Any fish between 16 and 22 inches must be immediately released.

“The slot limit will protect the initial stocking of bass and allow them to reach their trophy potential,” MDWFP biologist Tyler Stubbs said. He added that the daily creel limit will be 10 bass per angler, but only one can exceed 22 inches. The rest have to be under 16 inches.

“This will allow anglers to harvest plenty of bass for the dinner table, plus one big fish for their wall,” Stubs said.

Other daily creel limits will allow 30 crappie, 100 bream and 10 catfish per day.