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News Filed Under Fisheries

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.

With proper stocking ratios and active management, small ponds can provide fun fishing opportunities and food for the table. (File photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
July 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries

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.

Hybrid sunfish, sometimes called hybrid bream, are good options for small ponds because they grow quickly, especially when fed, and they are easy to catch. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Wes Neal)
June 23, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries

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.

Landowners can learn how to improve the quality and quantity of sport fish, such as this bluegill, in upcoming free pond management workshops. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Wes Neal)
March 3, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries

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.

February through April are common months for fish to become stressed and die. Water quality, specifically issues with alkalinity, may be the root cause. (MSU Extension Service file photo/Kevin Hudson)
February 24, 2017 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Winter and spring weather in Mississippi is a rollercoaster ride. Some nights are below freezing, while others feel like midsummer. With the warmer, sunnier weather, people begin to pay more attention to their ponds.

November 18, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The best fishing holes may begin with good fish genetics, but they continue with proper pond management.

Since the early days of farm pond management, MSU Extension Service specialists have made fish stocking recommendations based on the idea that if it's set up right in the beginning, the pond will provide quality fishing opportunities for decades to come. I have told many landowners there's no need to restock bass or bream unless there is a fish kill or someone wants to intentionally start over by draining or poisoning the pond.

A successful fisherman knows that a productive and healthy lake is important to produce large fish. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Wes Neal)
October 21, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Contrary to popular belief, fish don't like "clean" water.

If you have ever accidentally placed your pet fish in a bowl of pure, distilled water, you know what I mean. Fish have salts and other compounds in their blood. If their external environment is too different from their internal environment, fish have to fight continuously to keep the salts in and the water out.

Great days on the lake like this one do not just happen. Fish management plays a significant role in meeting the pond owner’s desire for growing trophy bass. (Submitted photo)
August 19, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. – There is no easy answer to the debate for the best type of bass to stock in a Mississippi pond.

The genetic differences between Florida bass, northern bass and hybrid bass are often relatively subtle. Fish management plays a greater role in meeting the pond owner’s desire for growing trophy bass, but the decision is still an important one.

July 1, 2016 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Evidence that people are watching too many zombie shows or movies can be found in the concerns and questions pond owners have for biologists.

June 17, 2016 - Filed Under: Fisheries

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The life of a fish is more complicated than most people realize. It needs places to hide from predators, ambush prey, spawn and guard young fish, and just loaf and relax.

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