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Mississippi Agencies Keeping Rivers, Lakes Stocked with Fish

By Paul Boger | Published 19 Nov 2013 08:30am | comments
Striped bass fingerlings / University of Southern Mississippi
Fishermen across the state may notice more sport fish in Mississippi's rivers and lakes. MPB's Paul Boger reports on what two agencies are doing to keep Mississippi's waterways stocked.
Tom Holman is with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. He says his agency has been busy recently; restocking Mississippi's water's with sport fish.
"In the last couple of weeks, we've stocked Redear Sunfish, and then there is a Copper-Nosed Blue Gill." said Holman. "46,000 went to Neshoba, 2,500 went to Lake Charlie Capps, 250,000 went to Moon Lake, and about 180,000 went to Bee Lake."
Twice a year the department of wildlife -- along with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs -- release a large number of farm-raised sport fish into Mississippi's rivers and lakes. The program ensures freshwater fish are available to anglers across the state. 
Holman says biologists take population samples to determine what kind and how many fish should be placed in a particular area.
"The numbers that we stock are based on requests from our biologists out in the field." said Holman. "So every year they go out and they sample with electro-fishing gear, where they shock the fish. We get an idea of the fish population in the lake, and if numbers fall within a certain range then they request additional fish."
While all the fish that were recently released were for recreational use, the agencies do occasionally restock waterways for ecological reasons especially in cases of disaster  
Mark Peterson is with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.
A plant in Louisiana over-flowed and put out a bunch, out what they call, 'black slick' into the Pearl River." said Peterson. "After they dealt with environmental damages, and figured out how many fish were dead, what species, and so-forth, to restock those because those are the fish that died. There's that kind of stocking, in terms of environmentally enhanced sort-of activities from accidents or whatever.
According to Peterson, striped bass from Lyman Fisheries in Gulfport were released in the southern part of the state. While pan fish, like Blue Gill and Redear from Enid, were stocked in the Northern half.


Striped bass fingerlings / University of Southern Mississippi



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