Reservoir trash rule causes confusion

A new trash regulation has gone into effect for bank fishermen on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson that will have its greatest impact on anglers visiting the popular Spillway Recreation Area —  although it is in effect on all banks of the 33,000-acre lake.

The rule requires that bank fishermen must have it their possession — and use — “a container marked ‘Trash’ with stencil or other clear markings for the disposal of garbage or refuse and shall dispose of any garbage or refuse at designated disposal sites provided onshore.”

While it is hoped that fishermen will use solid, reusable containers with lids, the regulation does not specify what material must be used, only that it be labeled trash.

The intention is to curb a continuing litter problem in areas of high fishing pressure, like the spillway, a site that a frustrated board of directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District has considered closing to fishermen if the trash situation didn’t improve.

The regulation, which went into effect Jan. 1, does not impact boaters — another point of confusion. Existing law requires all boats, regardless of type, to store “garbage and other refuse aboard the water craft in leak-proof, non-absorbent containers with tight-fitting lids and disposed of only at designated disposal sites provided on shore.”

Existing compartments of boats qualify.

February is usually a peak month for crappie fishing in the spillway area, since the rainy season usually leads to increased water discharge through the dam’s gates.

About Bobby Cleveland 1342 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.