Fishing & Boating


Buford Lessley
Fisheries Biologist / Project Manager
(601) 859-3421

Jamaal Bankhead
Fisheries Biologist
(601) 859-3421


The central management region contains 33,000-acre Ross Barnett, 4,000-acre Okatibbee Reservoirs, six oxbow lakes, and twelve MDWFP state fishing or state park lakes.  Also included are the Pearl River, Big Black River, upper reaches of the Leaf River, and the scenic Chunky River.  MDWFP lakes range in size from the 15-acre lake at Golden Memorial State Park to 404-acre Lake Calling Panther.  Management practices at MDWFP lakes include adding fertilizer and agricultural lime, supplemental stocking of predator and prey species, harvest regulations, vegetation control, and fish attractor placement.  Fish populations are routinely sampled with fall electrofishing and angler catch is monitored with spring creel surveys.

Ross Barnett Reservoir is one of the premier crappie and largemouth bass lakes in Mississippi.  The average weight of harvested crappie is 0.75 pounds, and catches of largemouth bass over 5 pounds are common.  If you like to catch large bream, give Lake Prentiss Walker near Mize a try.  MDWFP lakes are also big bass producers.  Bass over 12 pounds have been caught at Lake Calling Panther, and bass over 10 pounds are common at Neshoba County Lake.


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