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USACE Vicksburg District announces changes for annual Eagle Watch and Fish Habitat Days

USACE Vicksburg District
Published Jan. 5, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District announces the Mississippi lakes will not hold in-person Eagle Watch or Fish Habitat Day events this year due to Covid-19 transmission concerns.

The events are some of the first to be held at the Mississippi lakes each year and usually offer opportunities for public participation by individuals and volunteer groups.

Arrangements for each lake are as follows:

Enid Lake will supply weights, ties and trees to interested volunteers/groups from Feb. 5 to March 1 as supplies and lake levels allow. Volunteers and groups should contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 662-563-4571 to inquire about fish habitat restoration activities. No meals, t-shirts, or door prizes will be given out to volunteers for participation. Enid Lake will also accept donated Christmas trees at the Enid Lake Field Office. All decorations and lights must be removed from trees prior to donation.

Grenada Lake rangers will supply wooden stakes for habitat construction to interested volunteers and groups while supplies last. For more information, contact the Grenada Lake Visitor Center at 662-226-5911.

Arkabutla Lake has wooden stakes available for habitat construction. Stakes will be located at the overlook area at the overflow spillway adjacent to the Arkabutla Lake Field Office. For more information, contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at 662-562-6261.

Sardis Lake has already distributed its available supplies for fish habitat. Rangers provided approximately 2,000 wooden stakes this winter to volunteer groups for habitat construction. For more information, please contact the Sardis Lake Field Office at 662-563-4531.

Each year, the lakes hold Eagle Watch events to perform surveys for bald eagle populations. The public is usually invited to participate in the survey while also learning about America’s national bird. This year the surveys will be completed in-house by the ranger staff.

The purpose of the Eagle Watch is to estimate national and regional count trends overall, as well as by age class.

Fish Habitat Day is an annual event in which volunteers construct and place fish shelters using wooden stakes or trees which help provide bedding and cover for fish. The winter months are usually ideal for this work because lower lake levels expose mudflats and provide open spaces to create new fish habitats.

Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada lakes, the four Mississippi flood control reservoirs in the Vicksburg District’s area of responsibility, were authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1936, which provided a plan designed to address flooding that originated in the Yazoo Basin. The four reservoirs are used to hold runoff, or excess rainwater, as a flood-prevention measure. With approximately 3 million visitors each year, the north Mississippi lakes also contribute approximately $82 million into the local economy.

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, that holds nine major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Chris Gurner

Release no. 22-001