Officials reach roadblock for lake opening

Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2023

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To the dismay of fishermen around the area, the Leon Brooks Hines Public Fishing Lake located in the county is closed — with no specific reopening set.
According to Escambia County Commissioner Raymond Wiggins, the closing — or reopening — of the lake is out of local hands.
“We (the Commission) have contacted state officials to see if there was anything we could do about getting the lake reopened,” Wiggins said last week. “We have hit roadblocks everywhere and have exhausted all of our resources in helping to open the lake.”
The lake closed in 2022 following the resignation of the on-site manager. Currently managed by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, no date for re-opening has been announced.
In a press release from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources last week, officials with the department stated the lake would remain closed for dam inspections and restocking of the lake.
“The lake was closed in the fall of 2022 due to the resignation of the former lake manager,” ADCNR officials stated. “Escambia County Public Fishing Lake will remain closed until the fish grow to a catchable size, which should take about two years. When the lake reopens, anglers can expect to experience a new lake effect leading to a better fishing experience. A reopening date will be announced when available.”
No other details surrounding the unexpected closing of the lake or the possibility of a reopening have been made available to the public.