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News Filed Under Fisheries

April 2, 2019 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Forages, Livestock, Local Flavor, Natural Resources, Fisheries, Forestry, Marine Resources

Coastal area agricultural producers met with Mississippi State University researchers and Extension Service agents to discuss the research and education they need from the university in 2019. 

March 4, 2019 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Farming, Forages, Livestock, Natural Resources, Fisheries, Forestry, Wildlife

Central Mississippi agricultural producers and industry professionals met with Mississippi State University personnel to discuss research and education priorities at the 2019 Producer Advisory Council meeting on Feb. 20.

A harvested field spans out with trees lining the right edge and far side on a sunny day.
February 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries, Water Quality

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In past decades, researchers have revealed many connections between water bodies and adjacent landscapes. Much attention has been given to how soil, water, nutrients, pollutants -- and energy, in general -- move from land to nearby water bodies in runoff.

Ice covers a large pond with trees on the far side.
February 1, 2019 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Fisheries

Weather in late-winter Mississippi is always a rollercoaster, with cold snaps followed by spring-like reprieves followed by more cold snaps.

Occasionally, the temperature dips low enough to freeze pond surfaces, but a week later, the bass are shallow and biting. Every few years, we get a deep freeze in the single digits for several days, and most tranquil water bodies freeze over. The ice can be an inch deep or thicker and persist for several weeks. Many of us ill-prepared Southerners worry about the impact on our fish

One gloved hand holds a reddish fish on a table while an ungloved hand holds a small tool just used to insert a dart slightly below the top fin. A small photo inserted over part of the main photo shows a close-up view of a small, spear-like rod with a white point on one end and black writing on the yellow portion.
January 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Marine Resources

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.

Illustration shows plants growing above water’s surface with root system below.
December 7, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Water

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.

A wooden pole with hash marks at 12, 18 and 24 inches from a round disk with alternating black and white quadrants rests on brown grass. Danger is written below the 12-inch hash, ideal is written in the middle section, and fertilize is written above the 24-inch hash.
October 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Water

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.

Tall grass grows between a calm body of water and low-cut grass with a wooden pier in the background.
September 28, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries, Water Quality, Wildlife

Salt marshes are coastal wetlands common throughout the globe and visible just about any time you drive over a bridge along the coast.

Older man holds a fishing pole on the shoreline while watching a red cork on a quiet pond.
July 6, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Wildlife

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.

A northern snakehead is an invasive fish that can reach lengths of about 33 inches and are generally golden tan to a pale brown with dark-brown mottling.
May 11, 2018 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Fisheries
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Catching a northern snakehead fish may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that this unique critter is not native to the U.S. and it’s illegal to transport, sell or possess live snakeheads in Mississippi.
 
A lake with bare trees full of large birds perched in the branches.
May 4, 2018 - Filed Under: Catfish, Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Over the past 15 years, there has been a steady decline in Mississippi catfish production.

A man stands on a boat and checks a large roll of fishing line.
March 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Fisheries

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.

Several dead catfish and other fish species float clustered along  the edge of a pond.
February 23, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From February through April, calls begin coming in about sick and dying fish in backyard ponds.

A partially filled pond with minimal plant life visible around the banks.
February 2, 2018 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries

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.

Plastic debris is seen in an open black trash bag sitting on the beach at the 2016 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.
October 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Environment, Fisheries, Waste Management, Water

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.

Two men hold a hammerhead shark while conducting research aboard a boat.
September 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Fisheries

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. 

August 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

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.

Newts are common inhabitants of small, woodland ponds, especially when no fish are present. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Wes Neal)
August 4, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries

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.

Water hyacinths produce lovely blooms on Mississippi water surfaces during the summer, but this aggressive and invasive plant blocks light, stops photosynthesis for the plants growing below the surface and eliminates oxygen in the water. Freezing temperatures will kill plants, causing additional water quality problems. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/ J. Wesley Neal)
July 28, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries

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.

July 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment, Fisheries, Forestry, Invasive Plants, Marine Resources, Water, Wildlife

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.

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