Enid Lake

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 5, 2010

Enid Lake still provides areas for recreational activities

By Enid Lake Park Rangers

Exposed Mudflats

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Enid Lake continues its annual draw down of the lake in hopes of reaching conservation pool of 230 feet above mean sea level by December 1.  

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Enid Lake is presently at lake level 237.65 with the gates closed due to recent rainfall. With lake levels dropping numerous acres of exposed mudflats and miles of shoreline provide great riding opportunities for ATV enthusiasts.  Enid Lake staff asks ATV riders to practice safety and follow all rules and regulations while riding or using ATVs for recreational or work-related purposes at Enid Lake.

When accessing the lake bottom or mudflats all riders must access at remote locations and not through developed recreation areas. The operation of all ATV’s is prohibited in developed recreation areas. Enid Lake brochures and maps can be obtained at the Enid Lake Field Office for those looking for remote access points.  

Even though ATVs were built and designed for the effective navigation of rocky, muddy and root-covered terrain, we ask all ATV riders to be environmentally conscious.  

Misuse of these machines can cause rutting and destroy sensitive wetland habitat, erode creek banks, and even destroy native plant species allowing invasive plant species to take over. All riders should respect other visitors to the lake by avoiding areas such as campgrounds, where visitors may be enjoying a peaceful and quiet camping experience and streambeds and creeks, where anglers are fishing.  

Streambed riding is prohibited as it damages and destroys the sensitive aquatic life of both plants and animals. Be mindful of the fact that engine noise can startle livestock, so approach riders on horseback cautiously.  

We would also like to encourage riders to be respectful and avoid riding on private property adjacent to public lands without permission from landowners, and to carry trash bags and transport all refuse with you at the end of the day and properly dispose. Riding responsibly can result in preserving your use of public lands, mud riding and destroying habitat can result in losing those rights as well as receiving a citation.

Removal of Artifacts

Also with the lower lake levels many artifacts become exposed as well. The removal or destruction of any historical, archaeological, or paleontological artifacts from public property is prohibited.

Some of these artifacts include:  arrow heads, spear points or old home site artifacts including: lumber, rocks, nails, glassware, pottery, etc.

Hunting at Enid Lake

The opening day of rifle season for Whitetail Deer in Mississippi is just around the corner and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Enid Lake would like to remind all hunters that hunting is permitted on the project lands.

Areas restricted to hunting include: developed recreation areas, Springdale Wildlife Management Area, and areas marked “No Hunting” by signs. Hunters should park their vehicles in designated parking areas and avoid blocking access gates and roads. Hunters are reminded to practice hunter safety, and all state and local laws apply while hunting on Corps of Engineers property.

It is illegal to throw or dump trash, animal carcasses, etc. on Corps of Engineers Lands, right-of-ways, and roads. Hunters should remember it is illegal to permanently attach any type deer stand, drive nails, or any other objects into trees located on government property.

Portable stands may be used, but have to be removed daily. Enid Lake Brochures and hunting maps are available at the Enid Lake Field Office for hunters wanting to acquire literature about government boundaries, designated hunting areas, and areas restricted to hunting.

 A few safety tips to insure a safe and successful hunting season are as follows: check your firearm completely before shooting to ensure there are no deficiencies or obstructions in the barrel, always wear hunter orange when in the field, and always identify your target before shooting. When hunting from a tree stand be sure to wear a safety harness that fits properly and has no tears or abrasions. Always inspect tree stands before use to insure nuts, bolts, braces etc. are secure.

Never climb into or out of a tree stand with a firearm, utilize some type of haul line and always unload your firearm before raising or lowering a firearm from a tree stand. Hunters should always let someone know where they will be hunting and an expected time to return home.

Each year approximately 1.5 million visitors visit Enid Lake to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life, and to enjoy the many recreational opportunities such as, camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, sightseeing, horseback riding, and ATV riding.  Although each visitor comes to enjoy something different; they all have one common goal and that is to enjoy and utilize the great outdoors.

With this in mind, we must also remind visitors that the public lands surrounding Enid Lake are for everyone’s enjoyment and it is the responsibility of each visitor to protect and preserve our public lands and to respect other users.

For more information on Enid Lake Recreational Opportunities, contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 662-563-4571 or visit our website at http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/Lakes/ms/enid/.