Press Release Archives

Repairs Planned for Trace State Park Lake

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is making needed repairs to the water level control structure and dam at Trace State Park. MDWFP personnel will install an inflatable plug in the outflow pipe that will allow divers to replace the damaged stem on the water control structure. “We expect stem repair to take place within the next two to three weeks,” says MDWFP State Parks Director Jennifer Head. “Although the boat ramp is closed, bank fishing, paddling, and camping activities remain open to visitors during this time.”

Proposed Changes to Nuisance Animal Regulations May Not Affect You!

JACKSON – The proposed nuisance animal rule change only affects the hunting of nuisance animals on open U.S. Forest Service lands. Nuisance animals are defined in MISS. CODE ANN. §49-7-1 as wild hogs, nutria, beaver, fox, skunks, and coyotes.This rule change does not apply to private lands.“The proposed changes does not change deer hunting with dogs, permitted field trials, the summer raccoon season, or any other hunting season,” explained Chad Dacus, of Wildlife Bureau Director for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

VEC to Host Alligator Program

JACKSON - Ricky Flynt, Wildlife Biologist and Alligator Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will present a program about alligators at the Visitor Education Center (VEC) on Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m. Flynt will discuss the biology and population status of alligators. Participants will also learn about the nuisance alligator program and hunting opportunities in Mississippi.

Proposed Changes to Nuisance Animal Regulations

JACKSON –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved proposed rule changes to the General Regulation for the Taking of Nuisance Animals on June 22. At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, to address safety, resource concerns, and reduce confusion by the public, proposed changes to regulations for hunting of nuisance animals on open national forest land are as follows: On U.S. Forest Service lands, nuisance animals may be killed during daylight hours only during any open hunting season with weapons and ammunition legal for that season. No bait or feed is allowed at any time. Trapping (including snaring) of hogs is prohibited. Transporting or releasing into the wild, or capture and removal of any live animal or plant is prohibited without Forest Service approval. Nuisance animal hunting with dogs is allowed during any deer hunting with dogs season during daylight hours only. Additionally, nuisance animal hunting with dogs is allowed following the close of the last primitive weapon deer season until last day of February with weapons and ammunition legal for small game during daylight hours only. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, will be enforced.

Leave Young Wildlife Alone

JACKSON – With summer quickly approaching, newborn wildlife is abundant in the Magnolia State. From hatching birds and newborn squirrels, to white-tailed deer fawns, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) reminds people to leave young wildlife alone.

MDWFP's Museum Offers Interactive “Fear” Fun Fridays in June and July

JACKSON— Who says fear cannot be fun? Fun Fridays are interactive programs held every Friday in June and July at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.! The events include games, crafts, investigations, and activities built around the “Goose Bumps: The Science of Fear” exhibit (at the museum through December 30, 2016).

Florida Largemouth Bass Stocked at Columbus Lake

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked 62,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into Columbus Lake on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (TTW). “Florida-strain largemouth bass typically grow faster and larger than native bass,” says Tyler Stubbs, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist. According to Stubbs, the goal of these stockings is to increase the number of trophy-sized bass. A 14 inch minimum length limit also remains in effect on Columbus Lake to help increase the number of fish that reach larger sizes. MDWFP has stocked approximately 700,000 Florida strain bass into Columbus Lake since 2004.

Mary Crawford Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years of age and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Mary Crawford Lake beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, June 25. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Perry Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Perry Lake beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 18. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

VEC to Host Bald Eagle Program

JACKSON-- Jackie Kerr, Conservation Resource Biologist and Outreach Educator, for the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science will present a program about Bald Eagles at the Visitor Education Center (VEC) on Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. Kerr will discuss the population status of eagles in Mississippi and other interesting facts about this once endangered species. Participants will also learn what to do if they see an injured eagle.

American Legion Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at American Legion Lake in Houston beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, June 18. The free event is hosted by the Chickasaw Development Foundation and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Madison County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Madison County. The workshop will be held at the Turcotte Education Building located at 506 Hwy 43 South near Canton on Thursday evening, June 16 at 6 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the MDWFP Central Region Office at (601) 859-3421.

Puskus Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Puskus Lake beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 18. The free event is hosted by the Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Association and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Trace State Park Lake Boat Ramp Closed

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has lowered the lake level and closed the boat ramp at Trace State Park Lake. The lake level was lowered to allow MDWFP personnel to make improvements and repairs at the lake. Bank fishing, paddling, and camping activities will remain open to visitors during this time.

2016 Youth Art Winners Announced

JACKSON - The Visitor Education Center (VEC) received artwork from approximately 300 Mississippi students who participated in the 2016 North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Youth Art Contest. Congratulations to the first place winners, Delilah Roberts, Hakeem Johnson, Marlee Schaefer, and Pearce Burge! The artwork of the top finishers is available for viewing at www.mdwfp.com. The contest was sponsored by the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Alcorn County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Alcorn County. The workshop will be held at the Alcorn County Extension Office located at 2200 Levee Road in Corinth on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Alcorn County Extension Office at (662) 286-7755.

Memorial Day Weekend Enforcement Statistics

Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks conservation officers concluded the 2016 Memorial Day enforcement period which began Friday, May 27, at 6 p.m. and ended Monday, May 30 at midnight.

Grenada Reservoir Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at the Grenada Reservoir catfish ponds beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 11. The free event is hosted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Neshoba County Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Neshoba County Lake beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, June 11. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Local Anglers Assist with Largemouth Bass Stocking at Ross Barnett Reservoir

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked Florida-strain largemouth bass into Ross Barnett Reservoir. In cooperation with Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and local bass anglers, the fish were transported and released into backwater areas to improve survival rates. Volunteers using the Hwy 43 ramps near Tommy’s Trading Post stocked approximately 75,000 bass, and additional 26,000 were released in Pelahatchie Bay.

New Fishing Regulations Finalized for MDWFP Lakes

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced changes to fishing regulations at four MDWFP lakes. These changes go into effect on June 23, 2016.

MDWFP Celebrates National Fishing and Boating Week 2016

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) wants you to mark your calendar for National Fishing and Boating Week June 4 -12, a national celebration of fishing and boating. June 4 and 5 are designated as “Free Fishing Days” in Mississippi, and any person may sport fish without a license. In addition, daily permits to fish at state fishing lakes and parks are not required.

Black Bass Regulation Change Approved for Ross Barnett Reservoir

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a new black bass regulation on Ross Barnett Reservoir. The new regulation increases the minimum length limit on black bass to 14 inches and becomes effective on June 23, 2016. Under the new rule, anglers will be required to throw back all bass 14 inches and under. The daily creel limit will remain seven fish per angler.

Fishing Regulation Changes Approved for Lake Washington

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced new fishing regulations on Lake Washington. The new regulation sets the minimum length limit for crappie at 11 inches, but anglers will be allowed to harvest five fish under the length limit each day. The daily creel limit for crappie will remain 30 per angler. The new crappie regulations and the current black bass regulations will include the outlet channel from Lake Washington to the weir at Paul Love Park.

Katfishin’ Kids Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – In celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at the Turcotte Education Center beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4. The free event is hosted by The Mississippi Wildlife Federation, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Sport Fish Restoration, Coca-Cola Bottling, Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Frito Lay, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Brown Bottling Group, ESI Supply, LLC, BankPlus, Keep the Rez Beautiful, Allied Waste Services, Keesler Federal Credit Union and all local Wal-Mart stores.

See Live Snakes at “Snake Day” on June 7 at the Museum

JACKSON— See, touch, and learn about live snakes! The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science will host “Snake Day” on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. “At Snake Day, you can see and touch live snakes, learn the value of Mississippi’s native snakes, and how to distinguish venomous snakes from non-venomous snakes,” explains Museum Director Charles Knight.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Holmes County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Holmes County. The workshop will be held at the Holmes County Bank annex building on the court square in Lexington on Tuesday, June 7 at 6 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Holmes County Extension office at (662) 458-3847.

Museum to Host “Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear” Exhibit

JACKSON—Why do our hearts race, our knees shake, and our bodies sweat when we are scared?Goose Bumps! The Science of Fearexplores this universal emotion that can save our lives. “Through fun, interactive challenges, guests can experience fear in a safe environment and discover the science behind their physical and emotional responses,” explains Museum Director Charles Knight. The exhibit opens at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science on May 28, 2016and runs through December 30, 2016.

Sardis Lower Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at the Cypress Point Recreation area on the Lower Lake of Sardis Reservoir beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, June 4. The free event is hosted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at the Coahoma County Expo Center beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4. The free event is hosted by the Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Lake Bill Waller Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Bill Waller beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 28. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Lake Claude Bennett Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Claude Bennett beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 28. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Registration Deadline Extended for Family Fish Camp at NMFH Visitor Education Center

JACKSON - The deadline to register for the Family Fish Camp at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) North MS Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center has been extended to May 25. The camp, which is cosponsored by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF), will be on May 28 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

DeSoto County Man Fined $11,000 for Headlighting Deer

Donald Wayne Hensley, 49 of Hernando, was found guilty this week of five separate counts of headlighting deer in a Tunica County courtroom. Hensley was charged $11,174 in fines, sentenced to four months of house arrest, and loss of hunting privileges through 2019.

McMillan Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at McMillan Park beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 21. The free event is hosted by the City of Carthage, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), and the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service.

Lake Lamar Bruce Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Lamar Bruce beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 21. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

John W. Kyle State Park to Host "Kids to Parks" Day Activities

JACKSON – John W. Kyle State Park, in Sardis, invites you to enjoy a day of play at the park with your family on May 21 as part of "Kids to Parks" Day. Join thousands of children, families, teachers, cities, towns, and parks in this nationwide celebration of outdoor play. Kids to Parks Day is organized by the National Park Trust, an organization encouraging children across the country to explore their neighborhood parks and discover science, history, nature, and adventure right around the corner or just across town.

Tombigbee State Park to Host "Kids to Parks" Day Activities

JACKSON – Tombigbee State Park, in Tupelo, invites you to enjoy a day of play at the park with your family on May 21 as part of "Kids to Parks" Day. Join thousands of children, families, teachers, cities, towns, and parks in this nationwide celebration of outdoor play. Kids to Parks Day is organized by the National Park Trust, an organization encouraging children across the country to explore their neighborhood parks and discover science, history, nature, and adventure right around the corner or just across town.

MDWFP Investigates Mysterious Turkey Deaths

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), in conjunction with the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) recently released findings associated with the deaths of 15 wild turkey hens in Tallahatchie County. The birds were reported by a landowner to local Conservation Officer Dale Adams, who subsequently collected the specimens for testing.

Habitat Restoration Project Recently Completed at Indianola WMA

JACKSON – A habitat restoration project was recently completed at Indianola Wildlife Management Area (WMA). This project will not only restore areas to their native habitat, but will also provide visual cover for wintering waterfowl from public roads.

MDWFP's Museum “Summer Camp 2016” Online Registration Now Open

JACKSON—Remember those magical childhood summer days spent exploring the outdoors? This June, your children can experience similar adventures! Register your children for summer camp at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science. Age-appropriate camps include: “Go Outdooors…Camp!”, “Jr. Naturalist Camp”, and “Field Camp” for children entering kindergarten through entering twelfth grade.

NMFH Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a youth fishing rodeo on Saturday, May 21. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under. Registration begins at 7 a.m.

MDWFP and MSU Extension Service to Host Pond Management Workshop in Harrison County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the MSU Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Harrison County. The workshop will be held at the Lyman Community Center located at 13472 Highway 49 in Gulfport on Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling Paul B. Johnson State park office at (601) 582-7721.

MDWFP to Pay Tribute to Fallen Conservation Officers

JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host its annual memorial ceremony on May 18 at 10 a.m. to honor and remember those Conservation Officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The annual Memorial Ceremony is open to the public and will be held at MDWFP headquarters located at 1505 Eastover Drive in Jackson.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Claiborne County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Claiborne County. The workshop will be held at the Claiborne County Extension Office located at 510 Main Street in Port Gibson on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Claiborne County Extension office at (601) 437-5011.

Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMAs Continue to be Impacted by Flooding

JACKSON – Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) encompass over 50,000 acres along the Pascagoula River in George and Jackson counties. The Pascagoula River basin is the largest drainage in the southeast region of the state. Over the past five months, the WMAs have experienced constant cycles of flooding which have lead to numerous road and hunting season closures. Roads and hunting seasons are closed during high water conditions to minimize road damage and keep visitors safe. Roads are highly susceptible to damage during periods of high water and often require costly repairs. Once flood waters recede, WMA personnel inspect roads and re-open when conditions are suitable. Visitors are encouraged to review Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMA regulations for more specific information regarding road and hunting season closures. These regulations can be found online at www.mdwfp.com/wma.

Illegal Commercial Fishermen Arrested in George County

Conservation Officers with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently concluded a multi-day operation in George County with numerous commercial fishing violations and arrests on Black Creek. Black Creek, a popular and scenic stream in Jackson and George County, is open to recreational sport fishing but commercial fishing gear is prohibited. Commercial fishing gear such as the "slat box" seized this weekend, are commonly used to catch larger quantities of fish than recreational gear and may negatively affect other aquatic species.

Clarkco State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Clarkco State Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Trace State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Trace Lake in Trace State Park beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Olive Branch Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at George M. Harrison Municipal Park beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The free event is hosted by the City of Olive Branch and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Chickasawhay National Wildlife Refuge Gator Pond Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Gator Pond on Chickasawhay National Wildlife Refuge beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U.S. Forest Service.

Treating Cogongrass on Wildlife Management Areas

JACKSON – With spring in full swing, trees are leafing out and flowers are blooming. This is a great time to identify different plant communities and locate any invasive plant species. Cogongrass is an aggressive, invasive species that will out-compete all native plant species and take over a landscape.

2016 -2017 Hunting Season Proposals

JACKSON – At a public meeting on April 20, 2016, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved proposed rule changes for the 2016 – 2017 white-tailed deer and turkey seasons, as well as Wildlife Management Area rules changes.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Forrest County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Forrest County. The workshop will be held at the Paul B. Johnson State Park office located at 319 Geiger Lake Road on Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the park office at (601) 582-7721.

Spring Squirrel Season Opens May 14

JACKSON – Mississippi’s spring squirrel hunting season opens statewide May 14 – June 1. The bag limit is four squirrels per day during the spring season.

Fishing Regulation Changes Proposed for Lake Washington

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a proposed rule to increase the minimum length limit for crappie on Lake Washington from 10 inches to 11 inches. Anglers will be allowed to harvest five fish under the length limit each day, and the daily creel limit will remain 30 fish per angler. The proposed crappie regulations and the current black bass regulations will include the outlet channel from Lake Washington to the weir at Paul Love Park.

2016 Legion State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Legion State Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Alligator Hunting Seasons for 2016 Announced

JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, on April 20, approved the final rule changes for the 2016 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. A total of 920 permits will be available within seven hunting zones across the state for the ten-day season, August 26 – September 5, 2016.

Defendants Indicted in Illegal Deer Importation

JACKSON - Earlier this week, two of three defendants named in an indictment, filed in February of this year, were arraigned in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The three men named in the indictment are Coleman Virgil Slade and Dewayne Slade of Lamar County, Mississippi, and Don Durett of Stonewall County, Texas. Dewayne Slade and Don Durett were arraigned this week. Coleman Slade will be arraigned at a later date. The indictment alleges that the men violated the Lacey Act.

Lake Lowndes State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Lowndes State Park beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 7. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Regulation Change Proposed for Ross Barnett Reservoir Black Bass

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a proposal to increase the black bass minimum length limit on Ross Barnett Reservoir from 12 to 14 inches. Anglers will be required to throw back all bass 14 inches and under. The daily creel limit will remain seven fish per angler.

Family Fish Camp to be Held at Lake Lamar Bruce

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) will host a Family Fish Camp at Lake Lamar Bruce near Satillo on June 25 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The camp will be a great way for Mississippi families to learn about fish and fishing.

Fishing Regulations for MDWFP Lakes Proposed

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced proposed fishing regulations for Lake Tangipahoa in Percy Quin State Park. The regulations include a slot limit of 16-22 inches for largemouth bass, with a daily creel limit of seven bass per angler including one bass over 22 inches. A daily creel limit of 20 crappie and 50 bream has also been proposed. “These regulations will help sustain high angler catch rates and protect the initial stock of largemouth bass,” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Jerry Brown. Lake Tangipahoa will host a youth fishing day on Tuesday, September 17 and will open to the general public on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

Mississippi’s 2016-17 Early Migratory Bird Seasons Announced

JACKSON –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2016 – 2017 early hunting seasons for migratory game birds during its monthly meeting on April 20, 2016. These early seasons include doves, resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, and rails.

Mississippi’s 2016-17 Waterfowl Seasons Announced

JACKSON –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2016-2017 waterfowl hunting seasons during the April 20, 2016 meeting. Under a new season selection process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases all migratory game bird frameworks in early spring each year providing a “window” of dates from which states may select specific season dates. “This new selection process uses the previous year’s breeding population and breeding habitat data to provide frameworks for hunting seasons. This allows states to select migratory bird seasons when other hunting seasons are set, and to publish those seasons earlier in the year. Waterfowl breeding populations in 2015 were high, which will again result in a liberal season framework of 60 days with a six-duck daily bag limit,” said Houston Havens, Waterfowl Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Youth Fish Camp to be Held at Turcotte Education Center

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) will host a Youth Fish Camp at the Turcotte Education Center near Canton on July 20 and 21. The camp is open to youth ages 11-15, and is designed to introduce Mississippi’s youth to fisheries conservation, management, and sport fishing.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Lowndes County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Lowndes County. The workshop will be held at Lake Lowndes State Park main office located at 3319 Lake Lowndes Road near Columbus on Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Lowndes County Extension office at (662) 328-2111.

Desoto National Forest Airey Lake Recreation Area Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Airey Lake Recreation Area beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 30. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U.S. Forest Service.

Science Museum to Host “Birdsong and Bluegrass” Event on May 7

JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science invites you to a new event: “Birdsong and Bluegrass” on Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bryan Ledford & the Accumulators and The Vernon Brothers will entertain museum visitors, and food will be available for purchase. “Good food, good music, and birdsong: what a great way to enjoy spring!” says Charles Knight, Museum Director.

Homochitto National Forest Clear Springs Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Clear Springs Lake in the Clear Springs Recreation Area beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 30. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U.S. Forest Service.

2016 Youth Art Contest Deadline

Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2016 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, 2016.

Tippah County Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Tippah County Lake in Ripley beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 23. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Natchez State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Natchez State Park beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 30. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Family Fish Camp to be Held at NMFH Visitor Center

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) will host a Family Fish Camp at the North MS Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center near Enid on May 28 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The camp will be a great way for Mississippi families to learn about fish and fishing.

South Delta Wildlife Management Areas Closed Due to Flooding

JACKSON – Heavy rainfall during the month of March and April has resulted in extraordinary high water levels and backwater flooding in the Mississippi south Delta. On April 12, 2016, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) signed an Executive Order closing turkey season, including any permit-only turkey hunts, on Lake George, Sunflower, and Twin Oaks Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for the remainder of the season.

Family Fish Camp to be Held at Paul B. Johnson State Park

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) will host a Family Fish Camp at Paul B. Johnson State Park near Hattiesburg on May 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The camp will be a great way for Mississippi families to learn about fish and fishing.

Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Children 4 to 15 years old are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Fishing Derby Ponds beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 23. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and The Friends of Noxubee Refuge.

Meridian Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Q. B. Sykes Park in Meridian beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 23. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Meridian Parks and Recreation.

2016-17 Youth Participation Initiative Applications Announced

Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is pleased to announce the Youth Participation Initiative (YPI) is now accepting applications. The YPI was established to provide funding for the purpose of educating youth in the areas of hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, and natural resource conservation. During 2015-2016, YPI provided a total of $147,672 to help fund 25 projects across Mississippi. In order to improve the program's services to grant recipients, the due date for YPI applications is moved to May 1.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Newton County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Newton County. The workshop will be held at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station located at 51 Coastal Plains Road on Thursday, April 21 at 6 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Newton County Extension office at (601) 635-7011.

Diamondhead Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at the Twin Lakes Park pavilion beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 16. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Diamondhead.

Choctaw Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Choctaw Lake in the Tombigbee National Forest beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U. S. Forest Service.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop at NMFH Visitor Center

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Yalobusha County at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (VEC) below Enid Reservoir dam on Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the VEC at (662) 563-8068.

Pearl Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Bright Park in Pearl beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Pearl.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Pike County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Pike County. The workshop will be held at Percy Quin State Park convention center on Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the MDWFP South Region office at (601) 783-2911.

MDWFP to Host State Championship Archery Tournament

JACKSON—Having competed in North and South State qualifying tournaments, more than 4,000 student archers representing schools across Mississippi are gearing up to compete in the 2016 Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) State Tournament, April 4-7 at the Kirk Fordice Equine Center in Jackson.

Persistent Flooding Causes Closure of South Delta Wildlife Management Areas

JACKSON – Heavy rainfall during the month of March has resulted in extraordinary high water levels and backwater flooding in the Mississippi south Delta. On March 28, 2016, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) signed an Executive Order closing the turkey season, including any youth turkey hunts and permit-only turkey hunts, on Lake George, Sunflower, and Twin Oaks Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) until April 15, 2016.

Amory Railroad Festival Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at McAlpine Lake in Amory beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 9. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Amory as part of the 2016 Amory Railroad Festival.

New State Record Yellow Perch Caught at Pickwick Lake

JACKSON – On Monday, March 21, Wesley Cummings of Booneville was fishing in Mill Creek at Pickwick Lake near Iuka. While crappie fishing using a small pink jig, Mr. Cummings hooked and landed a large yellow perch. The fish was positively identified by Tyler Stubbs, a fisheries biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and was weighed on a certified scale. Mr. Cummings’ fish weighed 1.46 pounds, becoming the new Mississippi state record yellow perch! “Catching a yellow perch is rare, so the potential of seeing a new state record was unexpected and exciting. I was more than happy to certify the fish for Mr. Cummings," said Tyler Stubbs.

Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Hansel King Sportsplex beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 9. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Department.

Alligator Hunting Seasons for 2016 Proposed

JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved proposed rule changes for the 2016 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi on March 16. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. As proposed, a total of 920 permits will be available within 7 hunting zones across the state for the 10-day season, August 26 – September 5, 2016. All public water permits will be available for purchase on a first-come-first-serve basis. Permits will only be available for purchase electronically through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website beginning July 19, 2016. To be eligible to purchase an alligator hunting permit you must be at least 16 years of age and possess one of the following valid resident licenses prior to July 19 to be eligible: Sportsman License, All-Game Hunting/Fishing License, Small Game Hunting/Fishing License, Apprentice Sportsman License, Apprentice All Game License, Apprentice Small Game License, Senior Exempt License, Disabled Exempt License, or a Lifetime License. An Alligator Hunting Training Course will be provided to permit holders, however the course is no longer mandatory.

2016 Spring Fishing Forecast for Southeast Mississippi Lakes

JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are anticipating a productive 2016 fishing season. Winter catches of trophy bass in our state lakes should bode well for anglers in spring 2016. Population sampling during fall 2015 revealed good catch rates for both largemouth bass and sunfish in the southeast region state lakes. "A mild winter in southeast Mississippi allowed our fish to have a longer growing season this past year, which should be beneficial to our anglers this spring," said Stephen Brown, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist.

Tupelo Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Veterans Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Tupelo.

Let’s Wet a Hook Youth Fishing Rodeo at Woodville

JACKSON – Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Wilkinson County Park beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 2. The free event is hosted by the Scenic River Development Alliance and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Leroy Percy State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo Cancelled

JACKSON – The youth fishing rodeo scheduled for March 26 at Leroy Percy State Park has been cancelled due to recent rain events. Please keep an eye on the fishing rodeo schedule located within the "Education and Outreach" tab on the Fisheries’ Bureau webpage at www.mdwfp.com for updates.

MDWFP Percy Quin Lake (Tangipahoa) Opening Day Announced

MDWFP Percy Quin Lake (Tangipahoa) Opening Day Announced JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a youth fishing day at Lake Tangipahoa on Saturday, September 17, from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fishing will be open to youth 15 years and under. All youth must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old and has a valid Mississippi fishing license. Lake Tangipahoa will open to the general public on Wednesday, September 21 at 6 a.m.

Conservation Officers Respond during Flood Event

JACKSON-- MDWFP Conservation Officers have worked continuously to respond to calls of assistance precipitated by recent flooding. Above normal rain events caused flooding across the State and put lives and property in jeopardy. Officers were dispatched to rescue civilians from rapidly rising floodwaters overtaking their homes and motorists displaced by the dangerously high, swift water flooding. Conservation Officers rescued 18 total people in Pearl River County alone on Sunday, March 13.

MDWFP Studies Black Bass on Ross Barnett Reservoir

JACKSON –Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are tagging black bass on Ross Barnett Reservoir to study movement of tournament released fish. A total of 500 largemouth bass and spotted bass are being tagged and released during tournament weigh-ins. Each fish is tagged in the back near the dorsal fin with two yellow tags that look like small pieces of spaghetti. A telephone number and a unique identification number are printed on each tag.

VEC to Host Gourd Program

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a Gourd Program on Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Noxubee County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Noxubee County. The workshop will be held at the Noxubee Civic Center located at 16291 US Hwy 45 in Macon on Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Noxubee County Extension office at (662) 726-5723.

New State Record Striped Bass Caught in Gautier

JACKSON – On Saturday, March 5, Rocky Rawls of Gautier was fishing in the West Pascagoula River near his home. Using a bull minnow for bait, Mr. Rawls hooked and landed a large striped bass. The fish was positively identified by Stan Crider, a fisheries biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and was weighed on certified scales. Mr. Rawls fish weighed 39.6 pounds, becoming the new Mississippi state record striped bass! “Catching a state record fish does not happen very often. I was more than happy to certify the lunker striped bass for Mr. Rawls," said Stan Crider.

2016 Fishing Forecast for Northeast Mississippi

JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing success in 2016 on Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Reservoirs based on last fall’s sampling.

Unleash Your Wild Side at “NatureFEST!” on April 2

JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science invites you to unleash your wild side at “NatureFEST!” on Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. “We are excited to welcome Wildlife Wonders’ exotic animal stage show and Freedom Ranch’s live raptors to this year’s festival!” says Charles Knight, Museum Director. The event is a festival, a nature outing, and a fascinating museum trip, all wrapped into one exciting day! Food will be available for purchase from several food trucks.

Voluntary Survey Allows Hunters to Aid Wild Turkey Management

JACKSON – Turkey hunters with an interest in helping the conservation and management of their favorite game bird can aid the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) by acting as their on-the-ground eyes and ears. Participation in the MDWFP annual Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey (SGHS) gives turkey hunters a chance to collect data that is used to track populations and evaluate regulatory and management decisions.

Museum “Summer Camp 2016” Online Registration Now Open

JACKSON—Remember those magical childhood summer days spent exploring the outdoors? This June, your children can experience similar adventures! Register your children for summer camp at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science. Age-appropriate camps include: “Go Outdooors … Camp!”, “Jr. Naturalist Camp”, and “Field Camp” for children entering kindergarten through entering twelfth grade.

Youth Turkey Season Offers Excitement for Young Hunters

JACKSON – The 2016 youth turkey season will begin on private lands and authorized state and federal lands on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. This special season, which is available to hunters ages 15 and under, coincides with spring break for many of Mississippi’s schools. This opportunity is an excellent chance to introduce young hunters to the thrill of pursuing springtime gobblers.

Spring Turkey Season Opens March 15

JACKSON – It’s time for Mississippi turkey hunters to break out their calls and dust off their shotguns, because the 2016 spring gobbler season is just around the corner! Turkey season opens on Tuesday, March 15 and ends May 1. For hunters age 15 and under, the youth season begins a week earlier on March 8. Bag limits for the spring season are one adult gobbler or one gobbler with at least a six inch beard per day, not to exceed three per spring season. Youth hunters 15 years of age and under may harvest one gobbler of choice per day, not to exceed three per spring season. Spring turkey season is closed in the following counties or parts thereof: Coahoma, Quitman, and Sunflower.

2016 Fishing Forecast for Northeast Mississippi

JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists expect a great year for anglers during the upcoming fishing season in Northeast Mississippi. Fall 2016 population sampling on our state lakes and state park lakes revealed excellent populations of bass, bream, and crappie. “We collected more bass in the 4 - 8 pound range from Tippah County Lake as well as Tombigbee and Lake Lowndes State Park Lakes than we have seen in recent years,” said Tyler Stubbs, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist. “Large crappie and bream were also collected on these lakes.” Anglers targeting catfish should fish at Tippah County Lake or Elvis Presley Lake. Both lakes boast healthy populations of catfish, including 10 - 20 pound flathead catfish at Tippah County Lake

Fish Tagged in Moon Lake Recaptured near Grand Tower, Illinois

JACKSON - A paddlefish tagged and released in February 2014 at Moon Lake in Coahoma County by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists was recaptured on February 22, 2016, in the Mississippi River at the mouth of the Big Muddy River near Grand Tower, Illinois. The fish, which swam almost 870 miles, was captured and released alive by a rod and reel angler fishing for catfish. "This fish made a remarkable journey through many miles of streams and rivers just to get to the Mississippi River.” said Darrin Hardesty, MDWFP Commercial Fisheries Biologist. “Paddlefish are known for their long distance travels, but very little is known about their movements into and out of Moon Lake.” Moon Lake is connected to the Coldwater River by the Yazoo Pass.

Museum to Host Virtual Tour of the Tropical Rainforest on March 1

JACKSON—Take a virtual tour of the tropics by night on Tuesday, March 1 from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. with Bill Lamar, Zoologist, Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of Texas at Tyler, and Co-Founder of GreenTracks Tour Co, Inc. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science will host "Things that Go ‘Bump’ in the Night: The Tropical Rainforest After Dark" in the museum’s Rotwein Theater. The lecture is included with regular museum admission.

Fish Tagged in Mississippi Recaptured near St. Louis, Missouri

JACKSON - A shovelnose sturgeon tagged and released in the Mississippi River near Tunica by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) biologists was recaptured on February 5, 2016, in the Mississippi River near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. The fish, which swam almost 380 miles, was captured and released alive by a commercial fisherman. The sturgeon was originally tagged in 2012 by biologists performing research on pallid sturgeon, an endangered fish species.

2016 Fishing Forecast for Southwest Mississippi

JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists anticipate a great year for anglers in Southwest Mississippi. “We’ve seen improved fisheries at connecting oxbows along the Mississippi River during fall and winter sampling,” said MDWFP fisheries biologist Jerry Brown. “We collected high numbers of largemouth bass and bluegill at Chotard and Albemarle Lakes, and anglers reported improved catches at those and other oxbows during fall 2015. Recent flooding will not adversely affect game fish populations. According to Brown, “fish move onto the floodplain during high water, and return to the oxbows as the water level decreases.”

Supplemental Feeding for Deer After a Winter Flood

JACKSON -Recent winter flooding along the Mississippi River caused thousands of deer to relocate to drier land in Mississippi. As flood waters start to recede, deer will begin to return to their normal home range. Research has proven that deer displaced by high water events will return to their normal home ranges soon after waters recede. As these deer return, many people will want to provide supplemental feed to help them through the stressful period. The significance of the flood event will be short lived, and natural food will be available to deer depending on pre-flood abundance and quality. Existing feeding regulations will adequately meet any supplemental needs if feeding is implemented in flood affected areas. Extraordinary measures are not needed for the wellbeing of the deer herd.

Bobby Cleveland to Moderate “So You Think You Can Fish?” Event

JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science will host a morning of fishing seminars and fish education for anglers and families on Saturday, February 6, 2016 from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Veteran outdoor sports journalist Bobby Cleveland will moderate a panel of several professional anglers. This annual program provides useful information for novice and seasoned fishermen including seminars on kayak fishing! The Magnolia Crappie Club will conduct a seminar on crappie fishing, too.

Small Game Hunting Reopens in Areas Affected by Mississippi River Flooding

JACKSON - On January 20, 2016, during its regularly scheduled January meeting, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks voted to keep hunting seasons along the Mississippi River closed until January 31, 2016. The order also declares all areas inundated by floodwaters to be "no wake" zones.

Hunting Seasons Close in the South Delta until January 31

JACKSON - This morning, the Steel Bayou Landside gauge went over ninety (90) feet triggering the closure of hunting season in the south Delta. Pursuant to the order of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks earlier this month, once the Mississippi River reaches forty-three (43) feet on the Vicksburg gauge AND the Steele Bayou Landside gauge reaches ninety (90) feet in Zone 4.B, hunting season, except for waterfowl season, will close. Zone 4.B is defined as areas in Sharkey, Humphreys, Yazoo, Issaquena, Warren counties which lie south of Highway 14, west of Highway 149, south of Highway 16 / 149, west of Highway 3, and east of Highway 61. By action of the Commission on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, this area will be closed until January 31, 2016.

Hunting Seasons in Areas Affected by Mississippi River Flooding to Remain Closed Until January 31

JACKSON – On January 20, 2016, during its regularly scheduled January meeting, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, voted to keep hunting seasons along the Mississippi River closed until January 31, 2016. The order also declares all areas inundated by floodwaters to be “no wake” zones.

Supplemental Feeding During and After a Flood Event

JACKSON – Recent flooding along the Mississippi River alluvial valley caused thousands of deer to relocate to drier land. Research has proven that deer displaced by high water events will return to their normal home ranges within weeks of the flood waters receding.

Wildlife Management Area Turkey Hunting Applications Available

JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is now accepting online applications for Wildlife Management Area (WMA) turkey draw hunts. Applications can be submitted at www.mdwfp.com/draws; the deadline to submit applications is February 15. 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.

Commission Closes Additional Hunting Area During Emergency Session

JACKSON – On January 14, 2016, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, (“the Commission”) met in an emergency session to address the issue of rising waters of the Mississippi River forcing deer and other animals out of their natural habitat. The Commission voted unanimously to expand its order closing all open hunting seasons (except waterfowl) for the duration of the current high water event, along the Mississippi River.

Youth Waterfowl Camp Application Period Extended

JACKSON – The application period for the Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp to be hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. has been extended to January 11. The camp’s mission is to recruit and retain waterfowl hunters and increase support for wetland conservation and waterfowl hunting in Mississippi. Classroom discussions and hands-on exercises will be led by biologists and other wildlife professionals to help students gain a better understanding of wetlands, waterfowl, and ethical hunting practices. In addition, local field trips to publicly and privately managed wetlands will expose youth to the diversity of habitats that waterfowl use in Mississippi. Activities will include shooting instructions and safety training, as well as an optional adult-supervised waterfowl hunt.

Apply Now for the Trim Cane WMA Youth Waterfowl Hunt

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is now accepting applications for the Special Youth Waterfowl Hunt on Trim Cane Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The special youth hunt will be held on February 6. The WMA is an 891-acre property located in Oktibbeha County, approximately four miles north of Starkville off of Highway 389. The area has been developed primarily for waterfowl hunting and offers an excellent opportunity for youth waterfowl hunters. Trim Cane is easily accessible and is a prime area to introduce youth to waterfowl hunting.

Additional Area Closed to Hunting Due to Rising Flood Waters

JACKSON – In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and private landowners, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) by order of the Executive Director added the following area to the hunting season closure order issued on December 30, 2015:

“Tiny Titans” Exhibit Hatching at Science Museum

JACKSON—Take a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs through their eggs, nests, and embryos in theTiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babiesexhibit from January 23, 2016 – May 1, 2016 at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science! This remarkable hands-on exhibition includes more than 50 authentic dinosaur eggs and nests collected from all over the globe! “A captivating experience for all ages,Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, invites visitors to touch a real dinosaur bone, dig for eggs, experience hands-on exploration stations, and view animated video presentations featuring well-known dinosaur experts!” explains Charles Knight, Museum Director.

2016 Youth Art Contest

Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2016 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, 2016.

Wild Hogs in Flood Zone

The Mississippi River reached flood stages that resulted in the closing of hunting of all wild animals – except for waterfowl – in previously announced affected areas. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (“MDWFP”) is continuing to monitor the situation as animals are being forced from their natural habitat.

MDWFP Officers to Enforce Levee Closure

Jackson - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is reminding the public that the mainline levee from Vicksburg to Tunica is closed due to the current flooding.

Mississippi River Flooding Closures

On December 29, 2015, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, (“the Commission”) met in an emergency session to address the issue of rising waters of the Mississippi River forcing deer and other animals out of their natural habitat. The Commission voted unanimously to issue an order invoking the provisions of 40 Miss. Admin. Code, Part 4, Rule 1.5, closing the open season for hunting deer along the Mississippi River. A copy of the order is attached to this release.

Mississippi River Flooding May Cause Closures

JACKSON - As a result of the recent severe weather and heavy rains that we have experienced in the past few days, the Mississippi River is beginning to rise at a rate in excess of that experienced during the floods of 2008-2009. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) would like to remind everyone of several important items.

Rainbow Trout Stocked at Lake Lamar Bruce

JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked approximately 600 rainbow trout into the bank-fishing pond at Lake Lamar Bruce near Saltillo. According to MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs, “This stocking will provide anglers with a unique fishing opportunity during the winter months. In addition, the trout create a great opportunity to introduce youth or new anglers to fishing because they will be easy to catch.”

Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp Announced

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has again joined with Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and other volunteers 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. During the camp, youth ages 13 – 16 will increase their knowledge of waterfowl and wetland biology and management. Classroom discussions and hands-on exercises will be led by biologists and other wildlife professionals to help students gain a better understanding of wetlands, waterfowl, and ethical hunting practices. In addition, local field trips to publicly and privately managed wetlands will expose youth to the diversity of habitats that waterfowl use in Mississippi. Activities will include shooting instructions and safety training, as well as an optional adult-supervised waterfowl hunt.

Late-Season Opportunities for Youth Deer Hunters on Northeast WMAs

JACKSON – During January, youth 15 years old and younger are encouraged to take advantage of special deer hunting opportunities in the Northeast Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Region. Certain Northeast WMAs offer a combination of relaxed weapon restrictions and special access to improve hunt quality for youth deer hunters. Canal and Divide Section WMAs each provide a specially designated area for youth hunters.

Legal Weapons During the Primitive Weapon Deer Season

JACKSON - The primitive weapon season for deer, which opened December 2 and runs through December 15, is traditionally an excellent time to witness the pre-rut and harvest a quality buck. Antlerless deer and zone-legal bucks are eligible for harvest. On PRIVATE LANDS ONLY, deer hunters may use ANY firearm during this season. Regardless of weapon used, all hunters must possess a valid All Game License and a Primitive Weapon License, or a Sportsman’s License, or a Lifetime Sportsman’s License to take advantage of this opportunity.

Primitive Weapon Season for Deer Now Open

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) reminds hunters that the primitive weapon season for deer opened December 2 and runs through December 15 in all three Deer Management Zones. Antlerless deer and zone-legal bucks are eligible for harvest.

Flooding May Cause Temporary Road and Hunting Season Closures on Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMAs

JACKSON – Winter rains bring high waters to Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), which lie within the floodplain of the Pascagoula River in George and Jackson counties. WMA visitors should be aware that roads and hunting seasons may be temporarily closed during high water conditions to minimize road damage and keep visitors safe. Roads are highly susceptible to damage during periods of high water and often require costly repairs. Once flood waters recede, WMA personnel inspect roads and re-open when conditions are suitable. Road maintenance is a year-round job for personnel as the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks strives to provide adequate access for both public activities and management tasks. Visitors are encouraged to review the Pascagoula River and Ward Bayou WMA regulations for more specific information regarding road and hunting season closures. These regulations can be found online at www.mdwfp.com/wma.

Crappie Stocked into Northeast Lakes

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked black crappie into two Northeast area lakes. Approximately 2,700 fish were stocked into newly renovated Lake Monroe near Aberdeen. Lake Lowndes State Park Lake, located near Columbus, received 7,200 crappie. Anglers are reminded that Lake Monroe is still closed to the public.

MDWFP Partners with NWTF for Habitat Improvements on Copiah County WMA

JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located west of Hazlehurst, is a heavily forested WMA owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). The MDWFP recently partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) to enhance wildlife habitat on the WMA. A new 10 acre area was cleared of stumps and logging debris and will serve as a managed wildlife opening. The project received funding support from the Mississippi NWTF Chapter’s Hunting Heritage Superfund Program and an additional generous donation from the Greater Jackson Chapter.

“Museum Merriment” Events Offer Unique Opportunities for Family Fun

JACKSON— Make merry memories this holiday season at the award-winning Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science! “Make special memories with your family this season experimenting with ‘hot snow’, creating edible ornaments for wildlife, interacting with swamp animals, connecting with nature, and watching Santa dive to feed the fish in the aquariums!” invites Charles Knight, Museum Director. For details, please see the museum’s events calendar at www.mdwfp.com/museum.

Crappie Stocked into Southwest Lakes

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked crappie into two Southwest state lakes. Approximately 3,100 Magnolia crappie were stocked into Lake Walthall near Tylertown. Lake Tangipahoa, in Percy Quin State Park near McComb, received 25,800 white crappie.

Calling Panther Lake Boat Ramp Reopens

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced that the boat ramp at Calling Panther Lake has reopened. The lake level was lowered during August to allow staff to cut boat lanes, deepen shoreline areas, and make repairs to the courtesy pier.

Mississippi’s Duck Hunting Seasons Starting Soon

JACKSON – Mississippi’s regular duck hunting season opens November 27. Many waterfowl hunters are anxiously awaiting the season opener due to record breeding duck population estimates last spring. However, hunters should remember that winter severity in the northern United States and Canada, combined with local habitat quality and availability, also play major roles in how many ducks make their way to and remain in Mississippi.

White-tailed Deer Gun Season Opens November 21

JACKSON – Mississippi’s 2015 – 2016 white-tailed deer gun season opens November 21 and closes December 1. Hunting with dogs is allowed where legal during this season. Legal deer include legal bucks and antlerless deer on private lands and only legal bucks only on open public lands. The antlered buck bag limit is one buck per day, not to exceed three per annual season. Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone. For youth hunters 15 years of age and younger hunting on private land and authorized state and federal lands, all three of the three buck bag limit may be any antlered deer. The antlerless deer bag limit in the Delta and Hill Deer Management Zones is five per annual season. The bag limit for antlerless deer in the Southeast Deer Management Zone and all U.S. Forest Service Lands is one per day not to exceed three per annual season.

Bream and Catfish Stocked into Northeast State Park Lakes

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish into two Northeast state park lakes. Approximately 31,850 bluegill and 13,650 redear sunfish were stocked into Tombigbee State Park Lake near Tupelo. Trace State Park Lake, a 565 acre lake located in Pontotoc County, received 38,750 bluegill; 21,125 redear sunfish; and 10,000 channel catfish.

MDWFP Biologist John Gruchy Honored by Regional Peers, Named 2015 SEAFWA Wildlife Biologist of the Year

JACKSON – The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named John Gruchy the 2015 Wildlife Biologist of the Year at their annual meeting in Asheville, NC on November 3, 2015. Gruchy is the private lands habitat coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

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.

Preparing for Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities on WMAs

JACKSON –Throughout Mississippi, wintering waterfowl habitat and hunting areas are being prepared for the upcoming waterfowl season. The recent and much needed rain has helped to jump start fall flooding of waterfowl hunting units. The rain also began the process of putting water in many areas on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) without pumping capability.

Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities in North Mississippi

JACKSON – Multiple Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in northeast Mississippi offer public hunting opportunity to pursue waterfowl during the 2015 – 2016 hunting season. Canal Section, Graham Lake, Upper Sardis, and Tuscumbia WMAs have a variety of managed and natural wetlands that attract wintering waterfowl.

Special Primitive Weapons Season for Deer Opens November 9

JACKSON – Mississippi’s special primitive weapons season for white-tailed deer will open November 9 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 9 – November 20. This special season is provided to help hunters in areas with higher deer densities earlier opportunities to achieve antlerless harvest objectives prior to the rut. Only archery equipment and primitive firearms may be used during this season.

Youth Gun Deer Season Opens November 7

JACKSON – The gun deer season for youth hunters age 15 and younger begins November 7. This season provides youth hunters with the first firearms deer hunting opportunity. Youth may use any firearm and zone-specific spread and main beam antler regulations do not apply to youth hunters. 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 not to exceed 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.

Channel Catfish Stocked into Northeast Area Lakes

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked channel catfish into four Northeast area lakes. Approximately 7,500 fish were stocked into Tippah County Lake near Ripley, and Tombigbee State Park Lake near Plantersville received 5,000 fish. Additionally, Ballard Park and Veteran’s Park Lakes in Tupelo received around 400 catfish each. “Channel catfish are highly prized by anglers because they fight hard and make excellent table fare,” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs.

MDWFP Law Enforcement to Kick Off "Stuff the Truck" Toy Drive for Children's Hospital

JACKSON— The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is asking the residents of Mississippi to give back this holiday season by helping us “Stuff the Truck” to benefit the children of Batson Children’s Hospital. The "Stuff the Truck" Toy Drive will run from November 2 through December 10, 2015.

Bream and Catfish Stocked Lamar Bruce and Monroe Co. State Lakes

JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked 150,000 bluegill, 75,000 redear sunfish, and 15,000 channel catfish into Lake Lamar Bruce near Saltillo. According to MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs, “Our goal is to provide a long-term quality fishery, and the large stocking of bluegill and redear sunfish is a proactive management approach to reduce the chances of bass over-crowding.“

2015 Fall Fishing Forecast for Southwest Mississippi State Lakes

JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists encourage anglers to take advantage of the overlooked fall fishing opportunities in Southwest Mississippi. Great fishing reports have started coming in as temperature and fishing pressure decrease.

Paul B. Johnson State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –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 31. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

2015 Fall Fishing Forecast for Northeast Mississippi Lakes

JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are excited about the fall fishing season in Northeast Mississippi. Fishing has started to improve with gradually decreasing water temperatures. “In the fall, fish start feeding more in preparation for the winter months,” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist, Tyler Stubbs. “Some of the best fishing in this part of the state occurs during the fall, and is often overlooked, as most folks are concentrating on hunting season,” said Stubbs. Bass anglers should target lakes that have large shad and shiner populations such as Pickwick, Bay Springs, the canal section lakes A through E, and Lake Lamar Bruce. “Anglers have been very successful all summer at Lake Lamar Bruce, and we expect this lake will continue to provide prime fishing for area bass anglers this fall,” said Stubbs.

Habitat Improvements Continue on Copiah County WMA

JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located west of Hazlehurst, is a heavily forested WMA, owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). Approximately 200 acres of timber were recently thinned, this timber harvest will improve forest health and wildlife habitat by opening the forest canopy which allows sunlight to reach the ground. Sunlight, along with soil disturbance, promotes the growth of desirable vegetation that provides food and cover for many wildlife species.

MS Rabbit Season Opens October 17

JACKSON – Mississippi’s 2015 – 2016 rabbit hunting season opens October 17, 2015 and closes February 28, 2016. The bag limit is eight 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.

Boy Scouts of America Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Turcotte Education Center beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, October 17. The free event is hosted by the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

City of Biloxi Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at the Hiller Park Recreation Area beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, October 17. The free event is hosted by the City of Biloxi and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

White Bass Die-Off in Sardis Lake

JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists investigated a fish kill reported on September 17, at Sardis Lake. After evaluating the fish kill in several areas of the lake, biologists determined that white bass comprised over 99 percent of the dead fish.

Fishing Regulations Waived During Grenada Lake Dam Dewatering

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Law Enforcement Bureau announced that fish creel limits and legal fishing method regulations will be waived in the spillway area below Grenada Lake dam during the dewatering of the dam outlet channel by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. During this process, participants will be allowed to harvest an unlimited number of fish of any size and capture fish with dip nets, cast nets, or by hand. Those engaging in these activities must have a valid sport fishing license or be exempt from the license requirement.

MDWFP Commission Adopts Change to Wildlife Supplemental Feeding Rule

JACKSON – A change to the wildlife supplemental feeding rule was adopted by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at its recent meeting on September 16. The adopted change removes the “line of sight” prohibition from the rule, allowing hunters to place approved feeders in locations where they can be seen by the hunters. Unchanged in the rule is the requirement that hunters must be at least 100 yards from the feeder.

Wildlife Habitat Improved at John Bell Williams and Tuscumbia WMAs

JACKSON – Habitat improvements on John Bell Williams and Tuscumbia Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) are expected to help resident and migratory birds. Tuscumbia WMA has approximately 2,000 acres of wetland habitat and is located in Alcorn County. John Bell Williams WMA is a 2,930-acre tract of bottomland and upland hardwood forest located in Prentiss County.

Moon Lake Commercial Fishing Season Opens October 1

JACKSON - Moon Lake, in Coahoma County, will be open to commercial fishing for non-game gross fish from October 1, 2015 through February 28, 2016. Non-game gross fish include buffalo, gar, carp, and several other fish species. Fishermen who want to fish gill or trammel nets at Moon Lake must have a valid commercial fishing license and a special permit issued by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau. Paddlefish harvest is not allowed with these special permits.

Mississippi Deer Archery Seasons Open October 1 & 15

JACKSON – Many Mississippians are looking forward to the opening of deer archery season on October 1 for the Hill and Delta Zones and October 15 for the Southeast Zone. Longbows, recurves, compound bows, and crossbows are all considered legal archery equipment and can be used during all hunting seasons for deer. There is no minimum or maximum draw weight, no minimum arrow length, and fixed or mechanical broadheads may be used.

Squirrel Season Opens October 1

JACKSON – The Mississippi fall squirrel season opens statewide on October 1, 2015 and closes February 28, 2016. The special youth squirrel season is September 24 – September 30 on private lands and authorized state and federal lands only. The bag limit is eight squirrels per day.

Changes to Hunting Regulations at Great River Road Wildlife Management Area

JACKSON – At the September meeting of the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, hunting regulations for Great River Road Wildlife Management Area (WMA) were changed. Changes are as follows:

“Southeast’s Travel Attraction of the Year” Enhances Group Tour Options

JACKSON— Motorcoach group tour operators are invited to take a walk on the wild side with their groups this fall at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science! Museum staff has enhanced the special programs offered to group tours at the “Escape to the Southeast Travel Attraction of the Year”. Tour operators may choose from three tour options, which may include these special programs:

Counties and MDWFP Partner to Improve Boat Launch and Construct New Fishing Pier on Pascagoula River WMA

JACKSON – The Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (PRWMA) is 37,000 acres of predominately bottomland hardwood forest located within George and Jackson counties. Thousands of people utilize PRWMA each year for a variety of recreational activities, with fishing being one of the most popular pursuits. Recently, the George County Road Department and Jackson County Board of Supervisors assisted MDWFP staff in making improvements that will benefit anglers that use the area.

State and Federal Duck Stamps Now Available Online

JACKSON — Thanks to our abundance of waterfowl and habitat, hunting and viewing are very popular in Mississippi, and witnessing the teal migration and hunting season in September is a great start to the fall. One of the most important steps in preparing for the waterfowl season is purchasing state and federal duck stamps. But, even to the most experienced hunter, purchasing a state and federal waterfowl stamp may seem a bit confusing.

Alligator Hunting Season Yields Record Harvest

JACKSON – The 2015 Mississippi public water alligator hunting season closed on September 7; the private lands hunting season remains open until 6 a.m. on September 21. To increase participation among permitted hunters this year, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) changed the sale of public water alligator hunting permits to a first come, first served process. In 2013 and 2014, only 75 percent of eligible permit holders participated, with a harvest of 671 and 682 alligators, respectively. Preliminary harvest reports and surveys submitted for 2015 indicate a record harvest of over 960 alligators and over 90 percent participation among permitted hunters.

Museum Seeks SCUBA Qualified Volunteer Divers

JACKSON— Are you a SCUBA certified diver searching for a unique volunteer opportunity? If so, then call the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science! The museum currently needs SCUBA certified volunteers to help the aquarium staff with diving, hand feeding the fish, and cleaning tanks. Interested divers should call Museum Volunteer Services at (601) 576-6000 for further details.

Fall Food Plot Planting May Be Delayed on Some WMAs

JACKSON – As the days get shorter and fall draws near, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) biologists and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) managers across the state begin preparing to plant fall food plots on WMAs. Hunters returning to visit their favorite WMA will see evidence of clipping, spraying, or disking as wildlife openings are prepared for planting. However, wildlife openings on some United States Forest Service (USFS) WMAs may remain unplanted until late fall or possibly for the entire hunting season.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Copiah County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Copiah County. The workshop will be held at the Copiah County Multi-purpose Building located at 2040 West Gallman Road in Gallman on Tuesday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilization. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Copiah County Extension office at (601) 892-1809.

MDWFP Offering Dove Hunting Opportunity in Webster County

JACKSON –As part of its Private Lands Dove Field Program, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has prepared a dove field in Webster County and is offering a limited number of hunting permits for purchase. The 65-acre browntop millet field is located northwest of Eupora.

MDWFP Offering Dove Hunting Opportunity in Kemper County

JACKSON –As part of its Private Lands Dove Field Program, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has prepared a dove field in Kemper County and is offering a limited number of hunting permits for purchase. The 57-acre browntop millet and goat weed field is located east of Scooba.

Improved Fishing at Mississippi River Oxbow Lakes

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau received several good reports from anglers fishing at Mississippi River oxbows during the last two weeks. This is welcome news after anglers and biologists saw a decline in bass, bream, and crappie populations over the past few years.

Calling Panther Lake Boat Ramp Closed

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has lowered the lake level and closed the boat ramp at Calling Panther Lake in Copiah County. The lake level was lowered to allow MDWFP staff to make several improvements at the lake. Bank fishing and camping is available during this time.

MDWFP Commission Proposes Change to Wildlife Supplemental Feeding Rule

JACKSON – A change to the wildlife supplemental feeding rule was proposed by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at its recent meeting on August 19th.

Gov. Bryant Congratulates MDWFP LawFit Team on Winning National Competition

JACKSON – Today Governor Phil Bryant welcomed members of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' LawFit Team to the Governor's Mansion to congratulate them on winning the 2015 National LawFit Competition held last month in Olive Branch.

Mississippi and Louisiana Wildlife Officers Arrest Men for Illegal Fishing

JACKSON -- A joint investigation between the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has resulted in the arrest of three Mississippi men.

New Hunting Opportunity at Great River Road State Park Wildlife Management Area

JACKSON – Great River Road facilities were decimated by the Mississippi River Flood of 2011. Since that time, the city of Rosedale has managed the new day-use section of the park, while the remaining property was closed to the public due to flood damage.

Phillips Named “Hometown Hero” by Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau

JACKSON— George Phillips, Paleontology Curator at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science, was recently named a “Hometown Hero” by the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Phillips is a respected researcher and an exemplary ambassador for science to the state of Mississippi. The state’s fossil collection has grown to more than eight times its original size under Phillips’ stewardship over the past eleven years. George was recently featured on the History Channel’s hit show,American Pickers, and he was even able to charm the show’s hardened deal-drivers into donating a valuable duck-billed dinosaur femur, originally collected in Mississippi, to the museum!

Rohnke and Smith Receive Prestigious “Project WILD” Awards

JACKSON— Project WILD’s Council for Environmental Education recently recognized two Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science staff members for their outstanding contributions to conservation education. The museum’s assistant director, Angel Rohnke, was named the “2015 Rudolph J. H. Schafer Outstanding Coordinator” and conservation educator, Nicole Smith, was named the “Mississippi Project WILD Facilitator of the Year”. Project WILD links students and wildlife through its mission to provide wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions toward wildlife and related natural resources.

Mississippi’s Waterfowl Late Seasons Announced

Jackson –The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015 – 2016 waterfowl hunting seasons. “Breeding populations were strong again in 2015, which will result in a liberal season framework of 60 days with a 6-duck daily bag limit,” said Houston Havens, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Waterfowl Program Leader.

MDWFP Offers Dove Hunting Opportunities on Private Lands

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) offers public dove hunting opportunities on leased private lands throughout the state. The Private Lands Dove Field Program began in 2004 in an effort to provide additional public dove hunting opportunities. For this hunting season, private land dove fields will be located in Kemper, Panola, Pearl River, Scott, and Webster counties. “Dove hunting is very popular; however, MDWFP has recognized that having access to properly prepared, family-friendly dove fields can be difficult for people to find,” says Houston Havens, MDWFP Waterfowl Program Leader. Havens says, “MDWFP has partnered with farmers to make their fields available for hunters. Our goal is to have a safe field that offers good hunting for the entire family to enjoy.”

Deer and Early Teal Hunting Applications Available August 3

JACKSON – Beginning August 3, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will accept draw permit applications for deer and early season teal hunts on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com/draws and have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt.

Special Dove Hunting Opportunities for Youth on WMAs

JACKSON – In Mississippi, fall officially begins with fast-action dove hunts on warm September afternoons. Dove hunting is an excellent opportunity to introduce youth to hunting and shooting sports. The social atmosphere of dove hunting also introduces youth to the experience of the hunting camp tradition and creates special memories with family and friends. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is providing unique hunting opportunities for youth on our Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). This year there will be two youth dove hunts held on Black Prairie and Mahannah WMAs.

MDWFP CONSERVATION OFFICERS RESCUE MISSING MAN

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Conservation Officers recently rescued Jordan Taylor in a heavily wooded area ½ mile from Hebron Road in Holmes County.

Fishing Gear Regulation Changes Approved for Ross Barnett Reservoir

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced new regulations regarding the use of sport fishing trotlines, throw lines, set hooks, limb lines, Free Floating Fishing Devices (FFFDs), and yo-yos on Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Lt. Governor Reeves Visits Howard Miller WMA

Lt. Governor Reeves Visits Howard Miller WMA JACKSON—Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves visited Howard Miller Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Issaquena County today to view progress on habitat and access improvements. Since the WMA was acquired by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) in 2007, it has provided public hunting opportunities for migratory birds and served to demonstrate successful techniques in restoring and managing waterfowl habitat through agriculture and wetland management. "The unique partnership between MDWFP and local agriculture provides excellent waterfowl habitat, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities for our sportsmen and women," said Lt. Gov. Reeves. "Hunting and outdoor recreation provides a big boost to the Delta's economy, and I encourage Mississippians to support conservation by passing on this important heritage to the next generation."

Input Sought on Updated State Wildlife Action Plan & Species of Concern

JACKSON—Mississippi’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) identifies fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need and assigns conservation actions designed to prevent endangered species listings.

Roosevelt State Park Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Roosevelt State Park beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 18. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

Mississippi Alligator Hunting Permits Sold Out

JACKSON – For the first time since alligator hunting began in Mississippi, public water alligator hunting permits went on sale on a first come, first served basis July 14 at 9 a.m.; all permits sold within 45 minutes.

Mississippi Black Bears on the Move

JACKSON – In recent weeks, several areas across Mississippi have experienced higher than normal black bear activity. During spring and summer, after a few months of inactivity, these bears resume their normal life cycle and begin roaming in search of food. This seasonal nomadic activity is what is responsible for bear sightings that have been documented recently across Mississippi.

Mississippi’s Early Waterfowl Seasons Announced

JACKSON–The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015 – 2016 early teal and Canada goose hunting seasons during their monthly meeting on June 10, 2015. The early teal season is September 12 – 27. The bag limit for September teal is 6 per day with no more than 18 in possession. The hunting season for resident Canada geese is September 1 – 15. The daily bag limit is 5 Canada geese with a possession limit of 15.

Duck Breeding Pop. Remain High in 2015

JACKSON - The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service recently completed their annual waterfowl population surveys on the breeding grounds in the northern United States and Canadian provinces. These surveys monitor waterfowl populations and critical wetland habitat conditions, which are used to help set hunting season frameworks. Overall, North American breeding duck population estimates increased one percent from 2014 estimates and remained just over 49 million birds.

Mississippi’s Early Migratory Game Bird Seasons Announced

JACKSON–The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2015-2016 early hunting seasons for migratory game birds during its monthly meeting on June 10, 2015. These early seasons include resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, dove, and rails.

Nuisance Animal Control Conserves Habitat on Canal Section, Divide Section, and John Bell Williams WMAs

JACKSON – Annually, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) actively remove beavers and feral hogs from Canal Section, Divide Section, and John Bell Williams Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) located in northeast Mississippi. Approximately 260 beavers and 70 feral hogs have been removed, primarily through trapping, since July 2014. The result is the conservation of hundreds of acres of habitat on these WMAs.

Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications

Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is continuing its partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Wildlife Mississippi, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Mississippi Forestry Commission and others to provide cost-share for prescribed burning on private lands. Since its inception in 2011, the “Fire on the Forty” program has provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 35,000 acres in North and South Mississippi.

MDWFP to Graduate New Conservation Officers July 8

JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a graduation ceremony for its 2015 Cadet Class on July 8 at 10 a.m. at the Livingston Performing Arts and Media Center at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. This event is open to the public.

Online Registration for Hunter Education Courses Now Required

JACKSON—The fall hunting season is around the corner which means students across Mississippi will begin participating in Hunter Education courses led by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) instructors. Students are now required to pre-register for courses online at www.mdwfp.com

Mallard Pointe Golf Course Reopen to Improved Greens, New Management

JACKSON—Mallard Pointe Golf Course, located in the rolling hills of John W. Kyle State Park in Sardis, is now open for play with all new greens. The championship 18-hole course features striking elevation changes with views of scenic Sardis Reservoir.

Leave Fawns Alone

JACKSON – With the official start of summer, white-tailed deer fawns begin to appear in Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) wants to remind people to LEAVE FAWNS ALONE. Many Mississippians will come across a newborn fawn this summer. However, well-meaning people think the fawn has been abandoned or is sick, and want to take the fawn home to care for it. “We tell people the same thing every year – please LEAVE FAWNS ALONE,” said MDWFP Deer Program Leader Lann Wilf.

Crappie Regulation Changes Approved for Flood Control Reservoirs and Eagle Lake

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced new crappie regulations on Arkabutla, Enid, Sardis, and Grenada Lakes, also known as the Flood Control Reservoirs (FCRs), and Eagle Lake. The new regulations on the FCRs, which become effective July 22, 2015, consist of making the minimum length crappie that anglers can keep 12 inches, setting the daily creel limit to 15 fish per angler, and limiting the number of poles an angler can use to 4. In addition, boats with 3 or more anglers will be able to keep 40 crappie per boat. Daily creel limits in the FCRs’ spillways, including Sardis Lower Lake, will be reduced to15 fish per angler. The new regulations for the FCRs will make the regulations uniform across all 4 of the lakes.

Invasive Cogongrass Reduced at Marion County and Old River WMAs

JACKSON – Each year, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) controls cogongrass on Marion County and Old River Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Cogongrass, an exotic plant species from Asia, has aggressively expanded its range across Mississippi. Today, it is present in over 60 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

2015-16 Youth Participation Initiative Applications Announced

Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is pleased to announce the Youth Participation Initiative (YPI) will be accepting applications on June 15, 2015. The YPI was established to provide funding for the purpose of educating youth in the areas of hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, and natural resource conservation. During 2014-2015, the YPI provided a total of $147,274.00 to help fund 21 projects across Mississippi.

Lake Bill Waller Youth Fishing Rodeo 2015

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Bill Waller beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, June 27. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

MDWFP Conservation Officers Rescue Women

JACKSON----On Sunday morning June 7, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks (MDWFP) Conservation Officers received information that two women were missing from part of a group that began an early morning tubing trip on the Chunky River in Lauderdale County.

Florida Largemouth Bass Stocked into Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Lakes

JACKSON – On May 22nd, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into two Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (TTW) lakes. Aberdeen Lake received approximately 48,000, and 25,000 were stocked into Lock C near Fulton. “Florida-strain largemouth bass are typically more aggressive, grow faster, and potentially grow larger than the native bass found in the TTW,” says MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. According to Stubbs, the goal of the Florida-strain bass stockings is to help increase the number of trophy-sized bass in these two lakes.

Florida Largemouth Bass Stocked at Lake Monroe

JACKSON – On May 22, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked approximately 2,500 Florida-strain largemouth bass into Lake Monroe near Aberdeen. “Florida-strain largemouth bass are typically more aggressive, and grow faster than the northern strain largemouth bass,” says MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. “Stocking rates were decreased to help promote faster growth, and to delay future bass over-crowding.” The fish were reared at MDWFP’s Turcotte fish hatchery located near Canton.

Neshoba County Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a youth fishing rodeo at Neshoba County Lake beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 13. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP).

2015 Youth Art Winners Announced

JACKSON--Approximately 350 students from across Mississippi participated in the 2015 North Mississippi Fish Hatchery (NMFH) Youth Art Contest. The first place winners were Crews Marchbanks, Zoey McClain, Anna Cook, and Taylor Pace! Names of winning artists and their artwork can be viewed at www.mdwfp.com.

Largemouth Bass Regulation Changes Proposed for Flood Control Reservoirs, Lake Jeff Davis, and Trace State Park

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a proposal to change largemouth bass regulations on Arkabutla, Enid, Sardis, and Grenada Lakes, also known as the Flood Control Reservoirs (FCRs), Lake Jeff Davis and Trace State Park. The proposal for the FCRs will increase the daily limit to 10 fish per angler per day.

Infrastructure and Habitat Improvements on Pascagoula River WMA

JACKSON – This summer, major infrastructure improvements are scheduled for the 37,000 acre Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in George and Jackson counties. Improvements will include re-graveling and widening of roads, repairs to water crossings, and boat ramp maintenance. Infrastructure maintenance is a year-round job for WMA personnel as the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) strives to provide adequate access for both public activities and management tasks.

MDWFP Celebrates National Fishing and Boating Week

JACKSON - Mark your calendar for National Fishing and Boating Week June 6 -14, a national celebration of fishing and boating. June 6 and 7 are designated as “Free Fishing Days” in Mississippi, and any person may sport fish without a license. In addition, daily permits to fish at state fishing lakes and parks are not required.

Timber Harvests Scheduled for Copiah County and Canemount WMAs

JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Canemount WMA are heavily forested WMAs owned and managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). As part of the overall management plan for these WMAs, MDWFP personnel conduct timber inventory cruises and prioritize areas that need to be managed. Once a timber management area is determined, MDWFP personnel enter the timber stands and individually mark trees to be harvested. Timber marking criteria are based on several variables such as tree density, health, tree species, and wildlife management objectives.

2015 Alligator Hunting Seasons Announced

JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks finalized regulations for the 2015 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi at its April meeting. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. A total of 920 permits will be available within seven hunting zones across the state for the ten day season which begins August 28 and runs through September 7.

MDWFP Lake Lamar Bruce Opening Day Announced

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a youth fishing day at Lake Lamar Bruce on Saturday, May 2, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fishing will be open to youth 15 years and under. All youth must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old and has a valid Mississippi fishing license. Lake Lamar Bruce will open to the general public on Wednesday, May 6 at 6 a.m.

Rohnke Honored as Outstanding Alumnus

JACKSON — Angel Rohnke has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) Outstanding Conservation Achievement Alumni Award. Rohnke is Assistant Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science.

MWFP Foundation Super Hunt Fishing Rodeo

Jackson–The Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation (MWFP) is sponsoring the Super Hunt Fishing Rodeo for youth with disabilities at Turcotte Education Center on Saturday, May 9. This event is open to disabled youth ages 6-17, and will begin at noon.

New Pascagoula River Blueway on Pascagoula River WMA

JACKSON – The Pascagoula River is recognized as the largest unimpeded river system in the contiguous United States. The river spans the length of the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a 37,000-acre tract of predominately bottomland hardwood forest located within George and Jackson counties. Recently, a 22-mile portion of the river in George County was designated as a national blueway thanks to help from numerous collaborators and a grant through the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Project partners include the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, Pascagoula River Basin Alliance, George County Economic Development Foundation, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The goal of the Pascagoula River Blueway is to promote public use and enjoyment of the Pascagoula River and its natural resources.

Infrastructure Improvements on Charles Ray Nix WMA

JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is planning to repair and improve access on Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Panola County. Work will include stabilizing creek crossings, replacing culverts, and repairing sections of WMA roads. When completed, the improvements will restore management access to remote parts of the WMA, reduce erosion, and provide better access for WMA visitors. Work is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015. Similar infrastructure improvements are also planned for Canal Section, John Bell Williams, and Sardis Waterfowl WMAs. Work on Sardis Waterfowl WMA will be performed by the Sardis Lake Corps of Engineers.

Pearl Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON – Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Bright Park in Pearl beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 18. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Pearl.

Upcoming Habitat Management Activities on WMAs

JACKSON – As the days get longer and winter draws to a close, months of habitat management planning are about to be put into action across Mississippi. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks' (MDWFP) biologists and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) managers across the state have been preparing to take habitat management plans from paper to the field. When habitat management is mentioned, most hunters often think of food plots and wonder what they should plant. However, food plots make up a very small percentage of the overall landscape. Due to past implementation of habitat management techniques across Mississippi’s WMAs, food resources, nesting cover, brood-rearing cover, and escape cover are plentiful throughout the state.

Amory Railroad Festival Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at McAlpine Lake in Amory beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 11. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Amory as part of the 2015 Amory Railroad Festival.

Tupelo Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Veterans Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 11. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Tupelo.

Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at the Hansel King Sportsplex beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 11. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Brookhaven Parks and Recreation Department.

Choctaw Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON –Youth 15 years and younger are invited to a fishing rodeo at Choctaw Lake in the Tombigbee National Forest beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 11. The free event is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U. S. Forest Service.

MDWFP Conservation Officers Rescue Man From Mississippi River

JACKSON—Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Conservation Officers rescued James D. White from the treacherous waters of the Mississippi River Friday morning.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Bolivar County

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau will be hosting a pond management workshop in Bolivar County on Saturday, April 11. The workshop begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Charlie Capps Wildlife Management Area (CCWMA) located off Hwy 8 between Cleveland and Rosedale. A question-and-answer period will be held to discuss common management strategies and problems encountered in small pond management, and a site visit to the MDWFP managed pond at CCWMA will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by emailing Nathan Aycock at nathana@mdwfp.state.ms.us or by calling the lake office at (662) 759-6444.

Mississippi Lakes Named Top Trophy Crappie Lakes in America

JACKSON –Five Mississippi lakes have been listed as the top three fisheries to visit for trophy-size crappie according to a recent survey by Josh Gowan with Wired2fish.com. Gowan and a group of professional anglers identified the top 10 lakes to catch trophy crappie in the United States.

Camp Fish to be Held at Turcotte Education Center

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) will host Camp Fish 2015 at the Turcotte Education Center near Canton June 24 and 25. The camp is open to youth ages 11-15, and its purpose is to introduce Mississippi’s youth to fisheries conservation, management, and sport fishing.

MDWFP Museum to Host 12th Annual “Fossil Road Show” on March 7

JACKSON—Pack up your fossils and hit the road! The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science invites you to bring your fossil discoveries to the 12th Annual Fossil Road Show on Saturday, March 7 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. “Our team of scientists will provide their expert opinions about the ages and identities of your fossils,” says Museum Paleontology Curator George Phillips.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Funding Keeps WMAs Open

JACKSON— Mississippi's system of wildlife management areas (WMAs) includes mitigation lands owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and managed by MDWFP. This unique partnership between state and federal agencies allows USACE to continue their flood protection and navigation activities in the state. This arrangement also provides habitat for a variety of species, including waterfowl, deer, and small game, and offers important public recreational opportunities, and supplies economic benefits to local communities.

Live Webcam Offers Glimpse of Waterfowl in the Mississippi Delta

JACKSON – Waterfowl are continually arriving on many Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in the Delta to make Mississippi their winter home. A special video camera was installed on one of these WMAs to give the public a live look at the lives of waterfowl and other waterbirds in the Delta. This is the first time that this technology has been used to give the public the opportunity to view live footage of wintering ducks on public lands that are open to hunting.

ATV Riding in Public Streams is Illegal

JACKSON - Fisheries Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) want to remind All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) drivers that riding in streambeds can be harmful to fish habitat and fish, and may be unlawful. ATVs disturb gravel, sand, and vegetation in stream bottoms that serve as spawning areas for fish, cover for small fish, and attachment sites for insects, crawfish, and other aquatic fish food organisms.

McAlpine Lake in Amory Joins MDWFP Community Assistance Program

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau has accepted the City of Amory’s McAlpine Lake for participation in the MDWFP Community Assistance Program. McAlpine Lake is a 2.5 acre pond located on 10th Avenue North.

MDWFP & the Itta Bena Community Outreach Committee to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Roebuck Lake

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Itta Bena Community Outreach Committee are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Roebuck Lake on Saturday, August 30. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7 a.m. The event will be located on Roebuck Lake at the east end of Lakeside Drive in Itta Bena.

Golden Memorial State Park and Walnut Grove to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo

JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Walnut Grove will host a youth fishing rodeo at Golden Memorial State Park on Friday, August 29. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 4 p.m. Golden Memorial State Park is located on Damascus Road near Walnut Grove.

Mallard Pointe Golf Course Renovations Underway

JACKSON – The greens renovation project at Mallard Pointe Golf Course, located at John W. Kyle State Park in Sardis, is in full swing. The greens were sprigged with Mini Verde Bermuda grass on July 18, and should be ready for play by mid- September. This renovation follows the work that was done last summer at Quail Hollow Golf Course at Percy Quin State Park as well as the upgrades made to LeFleur’s Bluff State Park Golf Course in 2012.

New Commissioner Appointed to Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks

Jackson – The Commission on Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks swore in its newest member, Bill F. Cossar, at its July meeting. Cossar, a Charleston native and University of Mississippi alumnus, will represent District One (Northeast MS), replacing former Commissioner John C Stanley, IV.

Tornado Damage Cleanup Continues at Elvis Presley Lake

JACKSON – Elvis Presley Lake, located in Tupelo, remains closed following the April 28 tornado that damaged lake grounds and facilities. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has been coordinating with Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assess damages on lake property

Bluegill and Redear Sunfish Stocked into Lake Tangipahoa at Percy Quin State Park

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau stocked 175,000 bluegill and 75,000 redear sunfish into Lake Tangipahoa on Wednesday, July 9. Lake Tangipahoa is located in Percy Quin State Park near McComb. The lake was closed and drained in 2012 after the levee was damaged following Hurricane Isaac.

Conservation Officers Rescue Boy from Drowning, Administer CPR

JACKSON—On May 26, 2014 at approximately 2:20 p.m., MDWFP Conservation Officers Corp. Travis McDonald and Corp. Marc McCleskey were patrolling the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Lowndes County. As the wildlife officers passed under the Riverwalk in Columbus, McCleskey noticed three children franticly waving their hands at them. McDonald turned the boat around to evaluate the situation. One of the children informed the officers that his brother had gone under the water and had not resurfaced. While McDonald operated the boat, McCleskey removed his duty gear and entered the water in an attempt to locate the child. On the third dive, McCleskey located the child, who was unresponsive, on the bottom of the river channel. Once on the bank, McCleskey and McDonald alternated administering chest compressions; the victim began breathing. EMS arrived on the scene and assisted with transportation to Baptist Memorial Hospital.

MDWFP Opens Campground at Neshoba County Lake

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will open a new and improved campground at Neshoba County Lake on March 7, 2014. The campground has 22 newly developed camp sites providing water, sewer, and 100 amp electrical services. The sites were built to accommodate camping for recreational vehicles on one of MDWFP’s most popular state fishing lakes.

Celebrate the New Year with the “First Day Hike” at a State Park

JACKSON — Start the New Year off right by connecting to the outdoors and getting some exercise with a “First Day Hike” at a state park. Staff at both Tishomingo and Trace State Parks will host guided hikes beginning at 10 a.m. on January 1, 2014. Hikers at Tishomingo State Park will meet at the Loochapola Lodge, and hikers at Trace State Park will meet at the Jason M. Stewart Memorial Trail.

Mississippi’s State Lakes and Parks Offer Accommodations for Hunters

JACKSON – Each year thousands of anglers and campers take advantage of the many convenient and affordable overnight accommodations offered at Mississippi’s state lakes and parks. Hunters should also take advantage of these conveniences when making plans for a hunting trip. State lakes and parks are located in each region of the state and offer RV hook ups, primitive camping sites, and cabins near Wildlife Management Areas, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges. Whether you are looking to stay nearby for your early morning hunt or desiring to also enjoy the scenic views and a campfire with friends and family, state lakes and parks can definitely enhance your hunting trip.

Brandon Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Black Bear

JACKSON – On August 14, 2013, Ryan C. Murphy, 32, of Brandon pled guilty in U.S. District Court to killing a Louisiana Black Bear, a federally protected animal under the Endangered Species Act.

Yalobusha County Wild Turkey Poachers Plead Guilty

A Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks investigation led to the apprehension and conviction of three Yalobusha County residents for poaching wild turkeys. The investigation was initiated as the result of a tip provided by a concerned citizen. One subject admitted to poaching wild turkeys for the last 18 years. The three men had been poaching wild turkeys together for about 8 years. The subjects killed the wild turkeys while trespassing on private lands; they pled guilty to all counts.

John Collum Awarded 2012 SEAFWA Officer of the Year

JACKSON – Master Sergeant John Collum, of Fulton, MS, a thirteen-year veteran of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, was recently awarded the 2012 SEAFWA Officer of the Year by the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Seventeen other top officers from across the southeast region of the United States were nominated for the prestigious award, bestowed annually since 1986.

LeFleur’s Bluff Golf Course Reopens

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has announced the reopening of LeFleur’s Bluff Golf Course. After nearly two months of renovation, the course, located in Jackson, willopen Friday at 8 a.m.

Court Date Set for Alleged Illegal Alligator Hunting

JACKSON – Two alleged illegal alligator hunters are scheduled to appear in Rankin County Justice Court on May 1, after being arrested for attempting to take an alligator without a permit on March 23.

Suspect Confesses to Killing Black Bear in Amite County

JACKSON – On December 19, 2011, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks received an anonymous phone call


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