AROUND MISSISSIPPI — A coastal research agency and the Mississippi wildlife department have programs ongoing to restock Mississippi rivers and streams with fish.
The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is releasing more than 20,000 Phase II Gulf Race striped bass fingerlings into the major tributaries of coastal Mississippi including the Pearl, Jordan, Biloxi, Tchoutacabouffa, Ft. Bayou and East and West Pascagoula rivers.
The fish were raised at the Lyman Fish Hatchery, just north of Gulfport where the GCRL Striped Bass Restoration Project is housed.
GCRL scientists have worked in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) since 1967 to replenish the coastal striped bass population. More than 14 million striped bass have been released into Mississippi Rivers and striped bass are caught regularly by recreational anglers.
Some of the fish have been affixed with an acoustic tagging device which allows their movements to be tracked by receivers in place along sections of the river. The tags used are clearly visible to anglers.
Striped bass are regulated as a freshwater game fish in Mississippi, with a daily creel limit of six fish and a minimum length of 15 inches. These limits are also applicable in all Mississippi waters — salt and fresh.
GCRL officials say it’s legal to catch and keep tagged striped bass that meet the legal limits. GCRL officials said fishermen can help the agency keep tabs on the fish by reporting length, weight, tag number (if tagged), location the fish was caught and date.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks said it has stocked a Neshoba County Lake, Charlie Capps WMA, Olive Branch City Park and Tombigbee State Park near Tupelo with Redear Sunfish, also called shellcrackers.
The fish came from the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery in Enid.
MDWFP officials said the Redear Sunfish is a species of bream that is popular with anglers.