Extreme Weather Results in Record Waterfowl Numbers
JACKSON -The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) completed its early January aerial waterfowl survey this week as part of the nationwide Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey. Estimates for both mallards and total ducks were the highest observed since MDWFP began using its current survey methods in 2005. The survey estimate of the Mississippi Delta is 1,442,406 total ducks, including 678,235 mallards. The early January aerial waterfowl survey report with waterfowl estimates and distribution maps can be found online at www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/waterfowl-program/aerial-survey-reports. The extreme cold weather which swept across the country late last week and remained through early portions of this week likely had a significant impact on the number of birds arriving in Mississippi. “The widespread snowfall and icy conditions that reached into the South over the last several consecutive days forced large numbers of waterfowl to migrate in search of milder weather and available wetland habitat," said Houston Havens, MDWFP Waterfowl Program Coordinator.
Kick Off the New Year with “Family Fun Science Night” at the Museum
JACKSON—Do you want to learn more about science as a family? Join us at MDWFP’s Museum of Natural Science on Thursday, January 19 from 6 – 8 p.m. for “Family Fun Science Night”! “This event is a great opportunity for families with elementary and middle school aged children to kick off the new year and experience science in fun, hands-on ways,” says Charles Knight, Museum Director.
2017 Youth Art Contest Announced
JACKSON - Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2017 North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Youth Art Contest. Each student must submit a portfolio including entry form and artwork to the Visitor Education Center (VEC) by May 10, 2017.
Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp Announced
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is once again partnering with Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and others to host the Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp. The camp’s mission is to recruit and retain waterfowl hunters and increase support for wetland conservation and waterfowl hunting in Mississippi. This camp is much more than a youth waterfowl hunting trip. Youth ages 13 – 16 will increase their knowledge of waterfowl and wetland biology and management. Classroom discussions and hands-on activities, led by biologists and other wildlife professionals, help students gain a better understanding of wetlands, waterfowl, and ethical hunting practices. In addition, local field trips to public lands will expose youth to the diversity of wetland habitats used by waterfowl during winter in Mississippi. Other activities will include shooting instruction and safety training, as well as an optional adult-supervised waterfowl hunt for camp participants under the age of 16.
MDWFP and NWTF Discuss Wild Turkey Population Declines
JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and the Mississippi Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) staff discussed the continual statewide decline in wild turkey harvests during its open educational session on December 14.
Celebrate the Season at the Science Museum
JACKSON— Make merry memories this holiday season at the award-winning MDWFP Mississippi Museum of Natural Science! “Connect with your friends and family at the museum and experience unique, hands-on events,” invites Charles Knight, Museum Director. Experiment with instant snow. Interact with swamp animals. Meet the Christmas Gator. See Santa dive to feed the fish in the aquariums and get your photo with him! For details, please see the museum’s events calendar at http://www.mdwfp.com/museum.
Paddlefish Egg Harvest Season
JACKSON - The Mississippi River Harvest Zone, which is the first area open during the 2016 – 2017 Mississippi Paddlefish egg harvest season, opens on November 20, 2016 and closes December 31, 2016. This zone includes all of the public waters between the main line levees of the Mississippi River along the Mississippi-Arkansas border.
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day: November 19
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) would like to remind everyone that all Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) with waterfowl hunting opportunity will be open for the first youth waterfowl hunting day on November 19, 2016.
White-tailed Deer Gun Season Opens November 19
Mississippi’s white-tailed deer gun season opens November 19 and closes December 1. Hunting with dogs is allowed during this season. Legal deer include legal bucks and antlerless deer on private lands and only legal bucks on open public lands.
Cases of Illegal Carcass Importation Increase
Over the last week, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Conservation Officers have made nine different cases on illegal importation of cervid carcasses. Some of these cases originated from concerned citizens and through cooperation with other state and federal agencies.
MDWFP Completes New Boat Ramp in Tallahatchie County
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, working in cooperation with the Tallahatchie County Board of Supervisors, recently completed a new public boat launching ramp on the Tallahatchie River in Tallahatchie County.
Bear Pen Park Lake
Bear Pen Park Lake in Cleveland Joins the MDWFP Community Fishing Assistance Program CLEVELAND - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is pleased to announce that the City of Cleveland has enrolled Bear Pen Park Lake into the MDWFP Community Fishing Assistance Program. The park is located on College Street.
WMA Waterfowl Draw Hunt Applications Now Open
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is now accepting online applications for Wildlife Management Area (WMA) waterfowl draw hunts. Applications can be submitted at www.mdwfp.com/draws. All applicants must have a valid WMA user permit to apply. WMA user permits are available for purchase online at www.mdwfp.com or may be purchased anywhere hunting licenses are sold.
Youth Gun Deer Season Opens November 5
JACKSON – The gun deer season for youth hunters 15 years of age and younger begins November 5 across Mississippi. This season provides youth hunters with the first firearms opportunity at Mississippi’s abundant deer herd this hunting season. Youth may use any firearm. The bag limit on Delta and Hill Zone antlerless deer is five per annual season. The bag limit on Southeast Zone antlerless deer is one per day, three per annual season. Youth may harvest one buck with any hardened antler per day not to exceed three bucks for the entire hunting season. Zone-specific spread and main beam antler regulations do not apply to youth hunters.
Special Primitive Weapons Season for Deer Opens November 7
JACKSON – Mississippi’s special primitive weapons season for white-tailed deer will open November 7 in the Hill and Delta Deer Management Zones. The special primitive weapons season is for antlerless deer only on private lands and open public lands from November 7 – 18. This special season is provided to help hunters in areas with higher deer densities with earlier opportunities to achieve antlerless harvest objectives prior to the rut. Only archery equipment and primitive firearms may be used during this season.
MDWFP Graduates New Conservation Officers
JACKSON – Fifteen newly sworn Conservation Officers will be patrolling areas of assignment across Mississippi this upcoming fall. On October 27, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks held a graduation ceremony at Roosevelt State Park near Morton, honoring its 15 new Conservation Officers.
WMA Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities
JACKSON –Throughout the state, wintering waterfowl habitat and hunting areas are being prepared for the upcoming waterfowl season. Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the state offer great waterfowl hunting opportunities that are open to the public. Several of these areas offer waterfowl hunting through draw permit only.
MDWFP Studies Largemouth Bass Movement on Ross Barnett Reservoir
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Biologists have received recapture locations of 47 bass initially tagged and released at the Goshen Springs Landing during the first two weeks of March 2016. Biologists tagged 525 tournament-caught bass to learn about the dispersal behavior of released fish.
MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Wins Prestigious Award
JACKSON – Dennis Riecke, a fisheries biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has been named Fisheries Biologist of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA). Riecke was presented the award at the Association’s 69th annual meeting in Baton Rouge.
Paul B. Johnson State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo
HATTIESBURG –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Paul B. Johnson State Park beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 29. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).
Lake Dockery Tagged Fish Rewards Program Announced
BYRAM - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau tagged 100 fish at Lake Dockery on October 11. The fish were tagged as part of a rewards program to increase fishing participation at Community Fishing Assistance Program lakes. Largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish were marked with a yellow, noodle-like tag on their back behind the dorsal fin.
VEC to Host “Halloween at the Hatchery” Program
ENID - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a “Halloween at the Hatchery” program on Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m. Youth will decorate pumpkins using paints or decoupage. Participants are encouraged to wear older clothes for these crafts.
Treestand Accidents Reported During Archery Season Opener
JACKSON - Deer season officially opened this past weekend across the majority of Mississippi, ushering in fall’s favorite pastime for many hunters. During opening weekend however, Conservation Officers responded to many treestand-related incidents including three reported treestand-related accidents.
Rabbit Season Opens October 15
JACKSON – Mississippi’s 2016 – 2017 rabbit hunting season opens October 15, 2016 and closes February 28, 2017. The bag limit is 8 per day. Rabbit hunting is a fun and exciting way to spend time with family and friends. Rabbit hunters are encouraged to take youth hunting, but be sure to provide supervision on safe firearms handling and shooting.