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Extension Outdoors

Children feel the skin of a shark held by a marine fisheries biologist.
September 29, 2022 - Filed Under: Research and Extension Centers, Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Each summer, thousands of people flock to the Gulf Coast to soak up some sun and enjoy the water. With extensive beaches and abundant wildlife, there is no shortage of things to see and do here.

If you’re excited about the ocean, you won’t want to miss the park’s annual Shark Week at the Pier.

Creek with trees on the left providing shade and a steep bank on the right.
August 17, 2022 - Filed Under: Healthy Soils and Water, Natural Resources, Pond and Lake Management, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics, Pond and Lake Management Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The presence of a water source on private land can make a property much more desirable for several reasons. Whether it’s a lake, pond, stream or river, a water source provides opportunities for recreation, development, agricultural production, and wildlife and fisheries habitat.

A key aspect of maintaining the value of the water resource is ensuring that it is protected and used wisely.

A Southeastern myotis bat roosts in a culvert.
July 22, 2022 - Filed Under: Wildlife

BILOXI -- Across Mississippi, bats provide incredible ecosystem benefits as the primary predators of night-flying insects, while also being one of the most misunderstood mammals in the world.

Bats evoke different feelings and thoughts within different folks when they appear in the evening sky. Some are in awe of the flying mammals’ acrobatics, while others are hesitant to appreciate their nightly presence. But there’s no mistaking that bats are vital players within the environment.

People picking up trash
June 30, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. — Litter is a global issue that is known to decrease tourism, cost significant amounts of money to eliminate, and have tremendous environmental impacts. It is ultimately an inevitable byproduct of living our everyday lives.

A pond with a surface aerator.
May 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Pond and Lake Management, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics, Pond and Lake Management Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Summer has arrived, and your pond is heating up!

The surface water of local ponds feels like freshly run bath water, but it gets cold deeper in the pond. In the peak of summer, surface water temperatures in a deep pond can be in the low to mid 90s, while the deepest areas might still be in the lower 70s.

Boat in water
April 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Fisheries, Marine Resources

BILOXI, Miss. -- Coastal Mississippi’s natural habitats are easily accessible and provide opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing, hiking and kayaking. As spring approaches and warmer weather beckons local residents and visitors outside, nature-based-tourism (NBT) businesses should be in high demand.

A hunter shows off a turkey he harvested.
March 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources

As the weather finally begins to change and periods of high pressure set in across the Southeast, Mississippi’s spring turkey season looms in the no-so-distant future.

During this time, many critters are beginning to change their day-to-day behavior, including turkey hunters. Whether its deer and squirrels recovering from the cold breeding season and now preparing to deliver their offspring, or the waterfowl dispersing back North, our state’s most popular game bird is just beginning to wind up for its most exciting time of year.

February 21, 2022 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

For most hunters and bird enthusiasts in the Southeast, the term “game bird” conjures up images of a turkey gobbler in full strut, a covey of quail flushing from the brush and tall grass or an incoming group of mourning doves on the horizon. But the American Woodcock garners little attention despite being one of the most common game bird species.

A tall, purple weed in the foreground with green grass in the back.
January 27, 2022 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Pond and Lake Management, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics, Pond and Lake Management Resources

Some plant species found in ponds can multiply and interfere with pond use and fish management, but not all water plants are bad.

Two male deer locking horns
November 24, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Each year in Mississippi, thousands of hunters spend time in the woods hoping to see and harvest a buck. Last year, hunters in the Magnolia State harvested about 122,000 bucks, producing venison for the table and antlers to admire for a lifetime.

Even without having to worry about hunters, however, life for a buck is no cakewalk.

Salt marshes and water
October 21, 2021 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Smart Landscapes, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Coastal restoration has been a hot topic along the Gulf of Mexico coast for many years now. 

One clear aspect of coastal restoration is that it’s a team effort that requires not only the coast, but entire watersheds. From reducing excess fertilizer usage and litter to increasing low-effort natural landscaping and pervious surfaces, there are many actions we can take anywhere to help restoration of coastal ecosystems.

Bird feeder, bottle of bleach and cleaning brush.
September 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife
RAYMOND, Miss. -- After an active year for disease-related wild bird deaths in the U.S., people should follow best practices when providing backyard feeders and water sources for wild birds this fall and winter.
 
Disease in wildlife populations is normal and is one of the many mechanisms that regulate wildlife populations. Many things can cause diseases in wildlife, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, along with exposure to toxic substances. 
 
Woman in wading pants collects a water sample in a creek.
August 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Healthy Soils and Water, Pond and Lake Water Quality, Pond and Lake Topics, Pond and Lake Management Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Recreation in and around water is a great way to get outside in the warmer months and still stay cool. Whether you enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, wildlife watching, exploring creeks and streams, or paddling coastal bays and estuaries, Mississippi’s waterways have a lot to offer.

Bucket full of trash.
July 16, 2021 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Animal Health, Health, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The amount of trash along Mississippi’s roadways and waterways is distressing. Beer bottles, soda cans, soiled diapers, cardboard boxes and fast-food wrappers are routine. Tires, gas cans and household appliances are not uncommon.

Every day, people discard millions of tons of trash in recycling containers or garbage cans. Unfortunately, people also leave trash in other places where it can harm wildlife, pets and even other people.

Girl in a blue T-shirt and baseball cap holding a small fish.
June 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Environment, Fish Management

Grandpa cast the jig and cork to the center of the pond and handed it to Lucy. “Now, start reeling in slowly,” he said.

She did as Grandpa instructed. On the third crank of the reel, the float disappeared several inches below the water surface, and Grandpa shouted, “She’s got it; reel it in!”

That day, Lucy perfected her casting technique and caught nearly a dozen small bass and several large bluegill.

A bird with black and gray feathers perches on a stem.
May 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Biology, Environment

The terms “bird of prey” or “predatory bird” are most often used to describe birds that hunt and kill their prey -- a species also known as raptors. But while all raptors are birds of prey, not all birds of prey are raptors.

Graphic showing red snapper count in the Gulf of Mexico.
April 14, 2021 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management

BILOXI, Miss. -- The results of the Great Red Snapper Count are in!

In 2017, a team of fisheries experts began a two-year task of estimating the population size of red snapper in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico through this unprecedented, federally funded $12 million project. Scientists from several Southeastern universities and institutes, including Mississippi State University, used a variety of methods across the Gulf to accomplish this ambitious goal.

A wild gobbler turkey with brown and black feathers and a red head.
March 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Nothing sends a charge of electricity up my spine quite like the boom of a gobbler sounding off in Mississippi woodlands. If you have ever had the privilege of hearing a male turkey gobbler announce his presence in Mississippi oak or hickory hardwood and pine forests, you’ll never forget it. 

Many hunters take to the woods during turkey season to experience this exhilaration and for the chance to glimpse the spectacle of a strutting gobbler in full display to attract turkey hens for mating.

Tall grass protects water from invading dry land.
February 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Most folks dream of owning a piece of shoreline property on a river, a lake or the Gulf Coast. There is something about looking out over the water that is hard to describe.

Additionally, recreational opportunities like fishing aren’t bad either.

If you’re fortunate enough to own a piece of shoreline property, the last thing you want to happen is for it to erode.

Fishing vessel trawls multiple nets for shrimp.
January 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Fisheries

 

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