Fishery biologists are in the process of restocking Medard Reservoir at Turkey Creek.
The public-access impoundment was drained to repair the dam in the fall of 2009, but it has been fixed and the water level is rising.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports a total of 477,000 juvenile sport fish will be stocked during the winter and spring. The fish will come from the FWC’s Largemouth Bass Research Center near Webster.
The FWC released 130,000 juvenile bluegills to start the restocking process last week. Another 170,000 bluegills and 77,000 shellcrackers will be added in the next few weeks.
In the spring, 100,000 largemouth bass fingerlings 2-4 inches long will be stocked.
While the water was low, biologists removed non-native tilapia and armored catfish.
Fish attractors were built with concrete rubble from the old dam and boat ramps, and the rubble has been situated in long rows.
The reopening of the reservoir to fishing depends on how quickly it refills to a safe level and how the stocking goes.
The water level is 55 feet above sea level, covering about 400 surface acres.
The full pool stage is 60 feet and 770 surface acres.
It will probably be at least the summer before it rises another 5 feet.
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