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Sardis Lake is a popular visitor destination with over 5 million people flocking to the water each year. Located in the counties of Panola, Lafayette and Marshall in the Hills Region of northern Mississippi, Sardis Lake is accessible from Scenic Loop 315. With 32,500 surface acres of water and pristine beaches, it is no wonder that Sardis Lake is a favorite vacation getaway. Recreational activities include fishing, camping, hunting, boating, swimming, skiing, and picnicking.
Sardis Lake, managed by the Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was created by impounding the Little Tallahatchie River. Sardis Dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1936 and was the first of four dams in the Yazoo Basin Flood Control System. The Dam was constructed with the use of hydraulic fill techniques that was made possible by building a special dredge the Corps called "Pontotoc". There is a 425 acre Lower Lake downstream from Sardis Dam that was created by the soil being dredged to form the dam. Sardis Dam became operational in October of 1940 and now stretches 15,300 feet long and averages 97 feet high. As part of its flood control mission Sardis Lake is drawn down each fall to a conservation pool of 9,800 acres. This gives the reservoir storage for the spring rains and helps control flooding.
Sardis Lake is a great place for fishing and hunting. The Corps project has 83,000 acres of land that varies in landscape such as lush open fields, wetlands, and pine and hardwood forest. Hunters may spot deer, turkey, quail, squirrel, and an abundance of waterfowl. Anglers will enjoy casting their lines in Sardis Lake for bass, crappie and catfish. Visitors can contact the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for information on seasons, limits, and license requirements.
The Park Rangers at Sardis Lake offers programs and activities throughout the year to interest lake visitors in the wildlife, and natural and cultural history of the lake. There is an amphitheater located in the Oak Grove campground where many of the presentations are held. One activity that is enjoyed each year is the annual Eagle Survey, where Park Rangers and a number of volunteers go out January to get a count of the Eagle population around Sardis Lake. Also after Christmas each year the Corps of Engineers, area businesses and volunteers collect Christmas trees to discard in Sardis Lake. The discarded Christmas tress aids in the fish habitat.
With 20 recreation areas, 514 campsites and 6 swimming beaches visitors will Sardis Lake has a lot to offer. Visitors can enjoy camping in different ways at Sardis Lake from tents to cabins. Cabins are located at the John W. Kyle State Park. The State Park also features a swimming pool, indoor spots gym, tennis courts, marina, picnic sites and 18 Hole Golf Course. Boaters will enjoy easy access to the lake with the 10 boat launching ramps available in the Day Use Areas.
Whether visitors want a relaxing cabin get away or an exciting day of fishing, Sardis Lake is the place to go. With over 5 million visitors each year, Sardis Lake has proved to be a vacation place of choice.
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