Fishing & Boating


The Bayou Point ramp/Gravel Pit area is blocked off for safety (unstable banks). Other ramps are open, but water levels are too low to launch. There is a new gravel ramp into the north river chute beside the Hwy 51 landing parking lot, but how far you can go is limited by river flow and/or lake level.

RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING PUBLIC USE OF CORPS OF ENGINEERS WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS Title 36 Section 327.14a states that “destruction, defacement, removal, or any alteration of public property [which includes archeological features] is prohibited.” Find additional recreation regulations here:

US Army Corps of Engineers

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) of 1979, amended 1988, prohibits individuals from removing, selling, purchasing, exchanging, transporting or receiving Native American artifacts from federal lands without a permit. Individuals who violate this law could face fines of up to $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Additionally, the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGRA) of 1990 makes it a criminal offense for individuals to transport Native American remains without appropriate permission. First offense penalties include up to 12 months' imprisonment and a $100,000 fine.

Fishing Report

Arkabutla - 11/27/2023 2:03:28 PM
Species Detail
Fish Some folks are bank or kayak fishing for fish concentrated in creek and river pools. Catfish and white bass have been biting near Hwy 51. Use baits and lures appropriate for your target fish (ex. soft plastics for bass, jigs for crappie, natural baits for catfish).

All fishing regulations remain in effect. It is a good time to take pictures or waypoints of bottom cover or habitat for when the lake refills. Be very careful around steep, muddy banks or soft bottomed areas. Some fish should survive in the main lake, sloughs, and in deeper holes in creek and river channels. Like the 2012 drought, isolated pools (Duck Hole, Mud Hole, etc.) may dry up. Fish kills were reported during draining in June.

The extended drawdown is allowing vegetation to colonize exposed areas, providing habitat, cover, and food for fish and aquatic invertebrates when re-flooded. Flooded vegetation also settles sediment out of the water. Views from Hernando Point ramp (below, left) and across Hurricane Creek bottom Sept 7 (below, right).

Hernando PointHurricane Creek bottom


Special Fishing Regulations


Species Type Length To Release
Crappie (combined black and white) Minimum Length Limit 12 inches and under

Creel Limits (per person, per day)

Type Amount Additional Information
Crappie (combined black and white) 15 There is a 40 crappie per boat limit for boats with 3 or more anglers.

Anglers may use no more than 4 poles per person and no more than 2 hooks or lures per pole. 


The spillway had one gate open 19.0 ft and two gates open 1.0 ft each (550 cfs) Monday. The spillway area is closed to fishing because of the dam repair. Spillway gate openings, flow rates, and spillway water elevations can be obtained at Vicksburg District Corps of Engineers OR Yazoo River Basin Reservoirs click on 24-hour change for picture explanation of gate flow, spillway flow, etc.).

All fish captured and kept with dip or landing nets, cast nets, boat mounted scoops, wire baskets, minnow seines, and minnow traps in the spillway areas bordered by rip rap must be immediately placed on ice or in a dry container. Game fish caught with these gears must be released. This regulation was enacted to reduce the potential of transferring harmful Asian carps to the reservoir or other waters.

The 12-inch crappie length limit does not apply to the reservoir spillway, but the spillway has a 15-crappie creel limit.

Water Level

Water level 205.34, rising 0.1 ft/day, 5.2 ft below rule curve Monday. Expect very rapid rises and drawdowns as rain events happen and the Corps tries to maintain a low water level. Ignore the rule curve this year as the COE maintains low water to assess and repair the dam. Emergency spillway level is 238.3. For water level information, call (662)562-6261 or check at Vicksburg District Daily Bulletin for a table OR Coldwater River @ Arkabutla Dam, MS for a graph OR Yazoo River Basin Reservoirs for both (click on 24-hour change for picture explanation of gate flow, spillway flow, etc.). Be sure to check the date on the table; it is usually updated midday.

Additional Information

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Fisheries Biologists use various sampling methods to assess the fish populations in the State’s waters. Sampling results for selected water bodies are summarized in Reel Facts Sheets.

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