Five of Mississippi’s top crappie hot spots would have new limits and other regulation changes under a proposal passed last week by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Most of the changes involve the four large U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Control Reservoirs (FCRs) in north Mississippi, where the rules would be consistent across all four — Arkabutla, Enid, Sardis and Grenada lakes. The other is at Eagle Lake, an old Mississippi River oxbow lake north of Vicksburg.
The proposed changes for the FCRs include a 12-inch minimum length limit, daily creel limits of 15 fish per angler or 40 crappie per boat with three or more anglers aboard, and a pole limitation of three poles per angler. In addition, the daily creel limits in all the FCRs spillways, including lower Sardis Lake, would be 15 per angler.
“The proposed rules for the FCRs are intended to maintain our top-ranked, nationally recognized crappie fisheries,” said Larry Pugh, MDWFP Fisheries Bureau Director. “Having the same regulations on all of these lakes will also simplify regulations for the anglers.”
On Eagle Lake, the proposed crappie rule will impose an 11-inch minimum length limit and reduce the daily creel limit to 30 fish per angler.
“The proposed rule will protect smaller fish from harvest and allow more fish to grow to a larger size,” said biologist Jerry Brown.
The proposed rule change on Eagle Lake will be contingent upon Louisiana adopting the same regulation, and would be effective Oct. 1, 2015.
Under Mississippi law’s regulatory process, proposed regulation changes require a 30-day comment period for the public.
Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed changes may do so in writing to the Fisheries Bureau, MDWFP, 1505 Eastover Dr., Jackson, MS 39211, no later than June 21, 2015.