Fishermen at Barnett Reservoir will have quicker access to the lake’s best crappie and bass fishing when a new boat ramp opens in March.
Officials at the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, the state agency that oversees the 33,000-acre lake near Jackson, say the Goshen Springs South Ramp will open shortly after the reservoir is raised back to its normal level of 297.5. The lake was held at 296 from December through February to provide more storage for the kind of rains that led to the flood in February 2020.
“We are very pleased to add Goshen South to the many access points on our lake,” said John Sigman, PRVWSD’s general manager. “This ramp is important for several reasons, including that it provides the only direct public access to the upper lake on the east shore and it will take pressure off Goshen North, which is right across Mississippi Highway 43.”
Goshen North, previously called Goshen Springs Landing, is the lake’s busiest, with its three ramps providing protected launching and access to both the upper river and upper main-lake area. It is home to fishing tournaments most every weekend day. Add in hundreds of other recreational boaters pushing parking to the max, often encroaching on the busy highway.
Sigman said it was that aspect that helped PRVWSD repurpose some highway funding to help fund the new ramp’s construction.
“From a safety standpoint, the new ramp and its parking area will help a lot,” he said. “We realize that the limited parking will need to be increased in the future and there is certainly room to do that.”
A boating lane has been dredged that will link the ramp to existing channels that provide access south toward the dam and west toward the Highway 25 bridge and access to the river.
“I am looking forward to that new ramp, especially with the crappie spawn coming up within a month,” said Gene Woods of Jackson, a regular perch jerker. “A lot of my favorite spawning holes are within a mile of that ramp and I won’t even have to get in the river to reach some of them.
“But that’s not what I look forward to the most. What I am going to really like is seeing shorter lines at the ramps. Whew, it can get busy with the fish are biting.”
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