News Filed Under Fisheries
BILOXI, Miss.-- The Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery is economically and culturally important, but it is also very controversial. Fishing pressure during the past century led to the decline of Gulf red snapper.
Today, anglers see more red snapper than in previous years, so they believe the population is healthy again. However, managers with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries claim that the population is not yet healthy because it does not contain enough reproductively active females.
Floating islands are increasingly popular as a way to provide attractive centerpieces in ponds while improving water quality.
From the shore, floating islands look like normal earthen islands covered in plants, but they are much more than that. They are hydroponic systems that, when fully colonized by growing plants, are essentially wetlands that float on the water’s surface and provide many of the same services as natural wetlands.
If you own one of the 160,000 ponds in Mississippi, chances are you have invested tremendous amounts of cash and time in this resource. Building a pond can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and fish stocking, liming, fertilization and weed control are not cheap either.
Salt marshes are coastal wetlands common throughout the globe and visible just about any time you drive over a bridge along the coast.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Oxygen-related fish kills can completely wipe out otherwise healthy ponds, but there is a strategy pond owners can use to control this problem.
Anoxia -- the lack of oxygen -- can form in deeper water layers of a pond during warmer months. Deeper water is heavier and denser, which prevents it from mixing with warm surface water where air and oxygen-producing microorganisms are found. As deeper water becomes isolated, its oxygen levels are depleted, reducing fish habitat and increasing the risk of fish kills.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Over the past 15 years, there has been a steady decline in Mississippi catfish production.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Sharks of the northern Gulf of Mexico have a strong advocate in Mississippi State University Extension Service fisheries specialist Marcus Drymon.
Drymon, originally from Kentucky, has been fascinated with sharks from a young age. His dad, an airline pilot, took him on annual scuba diving trips to watch sharks. His college career focused on marine sciences, leading him to a career in marine biology, first at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From February through April, calls begin coming in about sick and dying fish in backyard ponds.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Terms like climate change or global warming may elicit different responses depending on your political viewpoints, but one thing is certain: Our weather is changing.
How much trash does your family generate? How much of that trash is single-use plastic, like water bottles and food packaging?
You might be surprised to know that much of that plastic ends up littering our waterways, beaches and oceans. In fact, the No. 1 item polluting these areas is plastic.
Our Extension photographer Kevin Hudson went out to sea to snag some great photos of the Master Naturalist training last weekend. We wanted to share a couple with you! On hand was our new Extension marine fisheries specialist Marcus Drymon.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University has hired a new marine fisheries specialist for its Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.
Marcus Drymon began his MSU Extension Service appointment Aug. 1. Before coming to MSU, he received his doctorate from the University of South Alabama Department of Marine Sciences, where he also served on the faculty.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Small, forested ponds are abundant in Mississippi, and there is a good chance one is somewhere on your back 40.
Most landowners see these small systems as difficult to manage for fish because they are too small, shallow, or weedy, or maybe the trees are too close to the water's edge. Fishing may not be your thing anyway. In these cases, consider managing small, wooded ponds for wildlife.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Although water hyacinth is beautiful and quite stunning when in bloom, it is not a desirable plant in ponds.
Water hyacinth floats gracefully on water surfaces. Its inflated, spongy stems feature attractive flower spikes adorned with up to 20 blue, yellow and light-purple flowers. It is common on many of Mississippi's navigable waterways, including the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Pearl River drainage. Native to tropical South America, water hyacinths feel right at home with Mississippi's warm summers and fertile waters.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Individuals interested in learning more about conservation of Mississippi's natural resources can attend the Coastal Mississippi Master Naturalist class.
The seven-week course begins at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center, located at 1815 Popp's Ferry Road in Biloxi. Classes meet once a week at various locations through Oct. 17. Weekday classes meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Weekend classes begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Stocking ponds with largemouth bass and bluegills is the most common management strategy used in Mississippi, but this combination is not ideal for ponds smaller than one acre.
In these tiny ponds, other species -- either by themselves or in combination -- can usually provide higher quality fishing opportunities than the traditional bass and bluegill approach. One great choice for small ponds is catfish, which provide easy fishing and excellent table fare.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Many Mississippi landowners have tiny ponds that are not ideal for traditional largemouth bass/bluegill management. In ponds less than an acre in size, other species, either by themselves or in combination, can usually provide higher quality fishing opportunities than the traditional bass and bluegill approach.
A great choice for small ponds is to create a hybrid sunfish pond. Hybrid sunfish, sometimes called hybrid bream, are a good option for small ponds because they grow quickly, especially when fed, and they are easy to catch.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Landowners who want to improve an existing pond or build a new one can find guidance in upcoming educational workshops.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks have teamed up to offer at least seven pond management workshops this year. The short sessions will be held throughout Mississippi, so chances are good there will be one near you.