Black Creek Lake Not Likely To Allow Recreational Fishing

The picturesque lake is a temptation for area sportsmen. Black Creek Lake is filled with bass, but the only public access means fishing from a bridge and casting your line over the barbed wire that surrounds the cooling lake.

Many longtime residents, including the district one supervisor, recall talk about future recreational opportunities back when the reservoir was created.

"I remember hearing that and certainly hearing the discussions, but the paper trail really doesn't show that," said District One supervisor Manly Barton.

That paper trail makes it clear Black Creek Lake is for "pollution control" only. The pollution in this case is the enormous heat that's transferred from nearby Plant Daniel into the cooling waters.

Manly Barton has heard the debate about recreation on the lake surface from time to time. He's even proposed a compromise: building fishing piers to allow limited access.

"But even that really kind of opens up that same argument about utilizing the facility for something other than what it was intended to do, and so that's kind of where we are today. And nobody would like to see it open any more than I would," he said.

The agreement between Mississippi Power and Jackson County for the use of the cooling lake dates back 34 years to a 28 page document dated April of 1973.

On page 22, paragraph 32, it says: 'The county shall not permit general recreational use of any of the facilities constituting Black Creek Cooling water'.

That is the key provision Mississippi Power continues to stand behind in this ongoing debate over recreational usage.

"That's always been the argument and that's really kind of where we are today," said supervisor Barton.

Mississippi Power says using Black Creek Lake for recreation would "jeopardize" its federal designation as a cooling lake, which could adversely affect the operation of Plant Daniel.

Big Cedar Bassmasters is the main group lobbying to open the lake for fishing. Club president Tony Kennedy told WLOX News, "we are by no means done".