The Fisheries Bureau is responsible for managing sport fish populations in public waters throughout the state. To meet stocking needs we own and operate two hatcheries: Turcotte Hatchery in Canton and the North Mississippi Hatchery in Enid. Based on annual fish population sampling biologists submit requests for species, number and sizes. It is the responsiblity of the assigned hatchery to produce high quality, disease-free fingerlings.
Not every system benefits from stocking, but stocking to achieve specific management goals is effective. Fish are stocked to meet the following objectives:
- Establish sport fish populations in new or renovated systems.
- Restore sport fish populations following natural or man-induced fish kills.
- Introduce new species to enhance or establish a new fishery. Care is taken to not adversely impact threatened or endangered species.
- Enhance year-class strength and recruitment of existing fish populations.
- Enhance harvest potential through put-grow-and-take stocking, for example our Community Assistance Program ponds and channel catfish stocking in our state lakes.
- Provide fish for special events like our fishing rodeos.
Up to 15 species are reared in the Bureau's 29 acres of production ponds in any given year.
Major emphasis is placed on producing:
- Florida strain largemouth bass. The brood stock we use are offspring of fish from the Waleka National Fish Hatchery in Florida. The current largemouth bass record of 18.15 pounds from Natchez State Park, produced at Lyman Fish Hatchery, came from Richloam Hatchery stock.
- Crappie - white, black and our very own triploid hybrid - the Magnolia crappie. The Magnolia is a cross between a blackstripe black crappie and a white crappie. The fertilized eggs are pressure treated to cause the formation of three sets of chromosomes per cell. This makes the fish sterile.
- Bluegill and redear sunfish.
- Northern strain of largemouth bass.
- The Gulf of Mexico strain striped bass and hybrid striped bass, a cross between the white bass and the striped bass. Mississippi participates in the Gulf States recovery effort of the Gulf striped bass.
- Other fish produced are the southern walleye, alligator gar, blue, channel and flathead catfish and paddlefish.
MS Fish Hatcheries