Three kayak launches added at Barnett Reservoir
Three new kayak-dedicated launches have been installed and are open to the public giving paddlers access to more of the 33,000-acre Barnett Reservoir, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District announced this week.
The new facilities are located at Ratliffs Ferry on the upper river, Brown’s Landing on the north end of the main lake just off the Natchez Trace at Mississippi Highway 43, and at Pelahatchie Shore Park in Pelahatchie Bay.
They join the two-year-old kayak launch at Turtle Point in Pelahatchie Bay. “The existing ramp has become mighty popular with paddlers, and we are proud to add these new sites to give our users more options,” said Jack Winstead, President of the PRVWSD Board of Directors. “Kayaking is a fast-growing user group. Five or 10 years ago, it was rare to see a kayak on the reservoir; now, you see them daily.”
The sites include self-launch systems that are consistent with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The launches allow users to enter their kayaks and slide into the water at the beginning of the trip and an easy paddle up at the conclusion. Handrails are included. All of the new sites are located adjacent to large parking areas.
While most kayakers on Barnett Reservoir do so for exercise and pleasure, fishing from kayaks is gaining in popularity. The lightweight craft can navigate more shallow water that bigger boats simply can’t reach. While it’s true kayaks can be launched basically anywhere, including existing boat ramps, it’s good to have decided sites.
“It does take a kayaker more time to launch, because unlike a bass boat or a ski boat a kayak must be loaded with equipment after it has been unloaded from the vehicle or trailer,” said Brad Case, an avid angler and creator of the MSKayakFishing.com website. “We don’t want to hold up a line of people trying to launch at a ramp any more than they want us, too. Having kayak-dedicated sites is great.”
For more information on Barnett Reservoir recreational opportunities, visit the agency online at TheRez.Ms, or download the Apple-based The Rez app available for tablets and cell phones from the Apple Store.