11.14.16

Stocking Splinter Creek’s Lakes

Sonia Thompson

Splinter Creek’s North Lake.

Every angler dreams of reeling in a fish that’s worthy of a mounted wall hanging. Some have to travel to far-flung locations to drop their line for that prize bass, but others are lucky enough to have pristine stocked lakes in their own backyards. At Splinter Creek, residents enjoy the latter, landing coppernose bluegill, shellcracker, and Tiger Bass.

To create that custom experience, Splinter Creek’s developers turned to American Sport Fish, which boasts a client roster ranging from President Jimmy Carter to Hank Williams Jr. to Disney World. They build, nurture, stock and manage ponds and lakes across the U.S., resulting in the creation of both conservation wetland habitats and first-rate trophy fishing.

“A lake is an entire ecosystem. When you build a lake, it draws so much other wildlife to the area.” -- Robby Mays, American Sport Fish

Founded in 1985 by two Auburn University grads, the business began as a small fish hatchery. Today, the Montgomery, Alabama-based group has grown into the South’s premier company for lake management. They are still in the hatchery business, but have expanded to offer pond and lake construction; liming, dredging and stocking lakes; fish population assessments; and aquatic vegetation management.

“We rolled that all into one company and have been doing quality work for so long that our name got around,” says Robby Mays, a co-owner. “Much of our business is still word of mouth.”

An American Sport Fish angler reels in a big catch.

Mays and his crew stocked and are managing Splinter Creek’s three bodies of water. A certified fisheries biologist, he says that over the next few years, the property’s lakes will progress to become ideal fishing holes. In the early stages of Splinter Creek’s growth however, while fishing is still light, Mays sees an opportunity for its lakes to become essential to the surrounding natural habitat.

“A lake is an entire ecosystem,” Mays says. “When you build a lake, it draws so much other wildlife to the area. Splinter Creek is a pretty amazing spot. It’s serene, and it makes you feel like you’re getting away.”

“Splinter Creek is a pretty amazing spot. It’s serene, and it makes you feel like you’re getting away.” -- Robby Mays, American Sport Fish

Hundreds of species of waterfowl, fish and insects, as well as deer and other mammals are drawn to the lakes, and the ability to marvel at the creatures in their natural habitat is exciting for residents.

In addition, the “benefit that the lakes provide to the environment is important,” Mays says.

The lake waters are what metabolize storm runoff, acting as controls for sand, silt, and helping to control drainage. “It’s Mother Nature cleansing the ground and the air,” Mays says. “The benefits to the surrounding landscape are huge.”

As for Mays personally, he believes getting to work with properties like Splinter Creek is one of the benefits of his job. To him, it’s one of the more special places he’s consulted for, and he hopes to help realize its full potential of becoming north Mississippi’s most idyllic private recreation area.

“We see all different types of lakes,” Mays said. “Splinter Creek is a pretty amazing spot. It’s serene, and it makes you feel like you’re getting away. I was excited to be a part of it.”

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