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State-owned lake to reopen after six-year closire

BOLIVAR COUNTY — State wildlife officials say Lake Charles Capps in Bolivar County will reopen in September.

The Bolivar Commercial reports the lake was closed in 2006 by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks for renovation.

Dennis Riecke, a fisheries biologist with the MDWFP, said that one of the main reasons that the lake was drained and closed in the first place was because managing the fish population of the manmade lake was a real challenge.

“Before the renovations were made to the site it was a real challenge to maintain a healthy fish population for several reasons.

“The two biggest reasons were because the lake was shallow in comparison to other similar sites and in the Delta heat the water often became tepid.

“Also, the torrential flooding that often occurs there during some springs made it difficult at time to keep species within the boundaries of the lake as well as keeping the water levels from surrounding drainage ditches out of the later,” he said.

As a result shad, carp, gar and other undesirable non-game fish entered the lake.

In 2003 officials developed plans to deal with the overabundant rough fish and thousands of pounds of problem fish were removed.

“We decided that we needed some wildlife management acreage, especially for waterfowl, in the area,” said Chad Dacus, the MDWFP’s wildlife bureau assistant director.

“So we decided to cut down the acreage of the fishing lake from 512 acres to about 40. Fishing boats will no longer be allowed in the lake but anglers will be able to fish from a designated section of the lake’s bank.”

The lake is currently being restocked with bass, bream, blue gill, catfish, crappie and other species of regional sporting fish.

Beginning last year, the MDWFP offered a limited draw application process for supervised duck hunts on the remaining acreage of the lake.

The lake is named for state Rep. Charles Capps Jr. of Cleveland, whose 33 years in the House included chairmanships of its Appropriations and Constitution committees. Capps died in 2009.

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