One of the most popular and productive lakes in the MDWFP’s State Lakes System has been drained to prepare for renovations, repair and restocking.

Lake Mary Crawford, near Monticello, is getting a facelift. The lake opened in 1955, making it one of the oldest in the system. It has always been known for its great bream, bass and catfish action.

“Draining Lake Mary Crawford will allow us to make needed repairs to the water-level control structure, fishing piers, and boat ramp,” said Jerry Brown, MDWFP’s State Fishing Lake Coordinator. “After repairs are completed, we will restock the lake with bass, bream, crappie and catfish.”

The facilities will be closed to the public during the renovation.

“I hate it’s closing, because I grew up fishing that lake and I still do, even though I’ve moved to Brookhaven,” said Jeffrey Barnes. “Whenever I go visit friends and family back home, I take my boat and make a few passes around the lake. I always catch a few bass, and I grew up catching big messes of bream.

“If the lake does like the other state lakes that have been renovated, and produces giant Florida bass for the next decade after it opens, then I’m surely OK with the closing. The lake needs bigger bass, so I’m all for that.”