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Extension Outdoors

Two men in a boat pose with a large fish in their laps.
March 18, 2020 - Filed Under: Fisheries, Fish Management

BILOXI, Miss.-- At Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center, we recently aged one of the largest tripletail fish ever caught.

A gray shark with a white undercarriage and face sits atop a board on a boat.
February 18, 2020 - Filed Under: Fisheries

As some of the top predators in the ocean, sharks fill vital roles by regulating food web dynamics and maintaining balance in their ecosystems.

A red fox with a white neck.
January 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife, Wildlife

Encounters with wildlife are becoming more common in towns and neighborhoods.

Habitat loss to fragmentation, urbanization, and expanding agricultural production means urban and suburban areas will increasingly become options for wildlife searching for homes. Song birds, snakes, lizards, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, deer and even bears are not uncommon visitors to urban and suburban backyards.

A silver fish is released into green water.
December 19, 2019 - Filed Under: Other Aquaculture Species, Fisheries

When most people think about tarpon, they probably picture a giant, shimmering, 6-foot fish leaping up towards the sky from the crystal-clear waters of southern Florida. What many people don’t know is that tarpon are also found just off our beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Although tarpon are not considered table fare in the United States, they are prized by recreational anglers because of their large size and acrobatic behavior. Tarpon generally swim in schools and make long coastal migrations from the southern Gulf of Mexico to the north in the late spring before migrating back south in the fall.

Two English Pointer hunting dogs tracking a scent in a forest.
November 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, enjoying nature and other outdoor activities put dollars in Mississippi’s coffers. In fact, wildlife-related recreation generates economic impact of about $2.9 million per year in the state.  

A man wearing hunting gear displays a deer he harvested with a bow and arrow.
October 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease

For many of you, chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is old hat and you’re tired of hearing about it. I understand.

A red shrimp boat with similar boats behind and beside it.
September 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Environment, Fisheries, Marine Resources, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing

LAPLACE, La. -- Heavy rainfall and snowmelt from the Midwest in 2019 led to three major firsts in the Bonnet Carré Spillway’s history, resulting in a massive influx of fresh water that caused adverse effects on marine life and seafood industries across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

A private property sign is nailed to a tree with vegetation in the background.
August 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

As fall and cooler weather are right around the corner, one of the most frequent questions I get from landowners related to protection of their property is, “Can I shoot a trespasser?”

A man in the center of the photo is shown from the back wearing a bucket hat and black wind suit picking up trash in tall grass along a beach. Another person with a gray jacket and red backpack is in front of him with a trash bag, while another person in a black jacket with the hood up takes pictures. A blue sky and ocean water are in the background.
July 19, 2019 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment, Marine Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Coastal Cleanup Program hosted its third annual Star-Spangled Cleanup event following Fourth of July activities, where over 100 volunteers participated in picking up trash from local beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

A green mass of hardwood trees rise up from floodwaters beside a long, raised levee.
June 28, 2019 - Filed Under: Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The stage for 2019 floods was set by heavy snowfall in the upper Midwest, followed by excessive rainfall patterns in the Plains, Midwest and South, resulting in significant flooding all along the Mississippi River.

The spring and early summer of 2019 has been among the wettest on record for many states located along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

A raccoon with gray fur roaming in the woods.
June 21, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

The story goes something like this: In his excitement to kill the rattlesnake that was making its escape across the road, the man used the only thing he had available -- his thermos bottle. The next scene in this drama has the man in the hospital receiving antivenom to treat a snake bite.

Medium-sized trees grow in straight rows as the sun highlights the green treetops and ground covering.
June 14, 2019 - Filed Under: Forestry

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Although sweetgum is not considered a highly desirable species today, it was once a very favored species. Old-growth sweetgum produces heartwood with a much-appreciated reddish color (also known as red gum), and it is even more desirable if the wood is figured.

Side view of a fish with a needle device pointed between scales in the lower midsection. “Fish Venting Tool” is printed on the handle of the needle.
June 7, 2019 - Filed Under: Fisheries

Catch and release angling can be an effective conservation tool but only when it’s done correctly.

Countless trees of various sizes with the sun breaking through the canopy in spots.
May 31, 2019 - Filed Under: Forest Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. --  There are major differences between hardwood management and pine management, but they have one goal in common: Landowner objectives should drive the course of action.

Two deer are lying down beside a remote road that ends at a closed farm gate with floodwater and debris floating beyond and around the area.
May 24, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife

Extensive flooding in the Mississippi Delta is pushing animals out of their comfort zones and creating stressful conditions as they just try to survive. Animals that can move ahead of the floodwaters will be concentrated on higher ground, potentially creating complications and conflict.

Sun shines down through rows of young pine trees, each about 10 inches in diameter, with minimal greenery visible.
May 17, 2019 - Filed Under: Forest Management

Since the downfall of the housing market in 2007 and the subsequent recession, stumpage prices have fallen for every sector of the pine forestry market for pulpwood, chip-and-saw and sawtimber.

Surrounded by green leaves and grasses, a baby deer with spots looks toward the camera.
May 10, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Spring is a great time of year to enjoy new beginnings, and flowers and leaves are not the only signs of new life. Plenty of food and warmer weather make this the ideal time for wildlife to mate and raise their offspring.

The young, formative years are perfect for learning and developing, and baby animals are no different from baby humans in this regard. Important life skills need to be mastered while individuals are young if they are going to be able to survive in a harsh world. Even innate or natural skills often must be mastered through practice.

The view down a two-lane road with a wide expanse of water on each side and nearly touching the road. A road sign marks the Tallahatchie County line.
May 3, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Climate change is a political trigger; simply mentioning it leads to arguments between colleagues, families and friends. Many arguments are reasonable discussions on which actions or inactions are best for the economy, society or the environment. That is how politics works.

A stand of tall pine trees with significant amounts of green brush, grass and small trees growing beneath them.
April 26, 2019 - Filed Under: Trees, Forestry

VERONA, Miss. – Before loblolly pines became the premier pine species in the United States, Mississippi native shortleaf pines offered some outstanding traits that are still valuable today.

April 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Kermit the Frog hopped into stardom from the Mississippi Delta town of Leland. His real-world “relatives” are waking with spring rains and warmer weather, but there are not as many amphibians as there were when Kermit was a tadpole.

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