By Adam Ganucheau/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Work at Lake Lamar Bruce is ahead of schedule while the lake remains closed to the public.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks announced the completion of the lake’s dam in late 2012, and multiple species of fish have been stocked since then, including around 15,000 Florida bass in May.
MDWFP officials say they hope to open the lake to the public around May of 2015.
“Right now, it’s just a waiting game,” MDWFP State Lakes Coordinator David Berry said. “The construction of the dam actually finished ahead of schedule, so that was great for the project. We are monitoring water levels and stocking the lake with more fish.”
The fish generally need about two years to spawn once or twice after they are stocked into a lake, Berry said. Prior to the addition of the Florida bass, the lake had already been stocked with bluegill bream, red ear bream and channel catfish.
“The fish now are only six to eight inches long,” MDWFP biologist Tyler Stubbs said. “When we open (the lake), there will be a nice mix of large, medium and small fish, and there will be some fun years of fishing for everyone.”
Berry says he would like to upgrade the campground at the lake, but insufficient funds are cramping those plans. Though that will remain a goal, the focus of the project is to continue to move forward with the maintenance and overall planning of the lake itself.
Berry and Stubbs compared the project to one at Lake Jeff Davis in South Mississippi.
“We just opened that lake last month after about three years of having been closed, and there have been some huge fish caught already,” he said. “I have told people that (Lake Lamar Bruce) seems like a long project, but it will definitely be worth the wait when we finish it up.”