Barnett Reservoir Spillway Recreation Area will become a permit-only area

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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) Board of Directors voted to make the Spillway Recreation Area a permit-only park starting Dec. 1, 2021. Leaders said their goal was to curb the problem of litter and vandalism in the fishing area.

“We hate to come to this, but we need to create a sense of responsibility among our users to end this problem,” said reservoir manager John Sigman. “We looked at it from every angle and solicited feedback from our users, but the waste situation has not improved and that needs to change. It’s not just an environmental issue but also a safety issue with so much litter on the rocks.

Leaders said Barnett Reservoir would create a free daily check-in system on both sides of the Pearl River below the dam, similar to the daily check-in stations used by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. (MDWFP) to that agency’s system. Wildlife management areas. There will be no fee associated with the Spillway Permit Cards.

Daily users over the age of 16 will need to obtain a permit form at one of the stations and fill out the registration card immediately before recreating. Each card should have three parts; one to leave prominently on the dashboard of the vehicle, one to place in a box at one of the authorization stations before recreating, and a third, smaller one to be carried by a user when visiting.

While the permit requirement will be a PRVWSD policy to begin with, the Commission has directed staff to begin the process of making the system a regulation. After this 90 day process, it will become law punishable by a maximum fine of $100.

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