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Special Youth Dove Hunting Opportunities 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 provides opportunity for quality time spent in the outdoors with family and friends. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) seeks to provide a unique hunting opportunity for youth on our Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). This year there will be two special youth dove hunts held on Black Prairie and Mahannah WMAs.

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.

Summer Opportunities Abound on Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area
JACKSON – Each summer thousands of people flock to the 37,000-acre Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in George and Jackson counties. Fishing is the most popular summer pastime for these WMA visitors, and anglers have plenty of water from which to choose. The Pascagoula River winds along the entire length of the WMA. Dozens of oxbow lakes are scattered throughout the area. Handicap accessible piers on select lakes provide opportunity to disabled anglers. However, more than just fishermen utilize the waters of Pascagoula River WMA. Casual boaters, canoers, and kayakers all get in on the fun. Swimmers and sunbathers soak up rays on the numerous sandbars that line the river. Nighttime also brings out users who enjoy hunting big bullfrogs in the swamp backwaters.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Clay 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 Clay County. The workshop will be held at the Clay County USDA-NRCS Service Office at 122 North Jackson Street off of Hwy 50 East in West Point on Thursday, July 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 extension office at (662) 494-5371.

Application Deadline Extended for Family Fish Camp at Tombigbee 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 Tombigbee State Park near Tupelo on August 1 and 2. Times for the camp are 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The camp is open to youth ages 10-15; its purpose is to introduce Mississippi’s families to fisheries conservation, management, and sport fishing. To make this a family outing, at least one parent (or legal guardian 21 years of age or older) is required to attend the camp with a youth participant.

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.

Mississippi’s 2014 Early Migratory Game Bird Seasons Announced
JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has approved dates for the 2014-2015 early hunting seasons for migratory game birds. Early migratory game bird hunting seasons set at the July meeting include resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, dove, and rails. This year, early seasons will be similar to recent years with a few minor changes.

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

Road Improvements Made on Old River WMA
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) personnel recently made improvements to roads on Old River Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Old River WMA roads are often damaged from winter and spring flooding of the Pearl River. These roads provide management access as well as public access for hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities.

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.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Jackson County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Jackson County. The workshop will be held at the Lower Pascagoula Wildlife Management Area headquarters on Wade-Vancleave Road on Thursday, July 17 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 Stephen Brown at (601) 582-7721.

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 group camp at Paul B. Johnson State Park on Tuesday, July 15 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 Stephen Brown at (601) 582-7721.

Duck Breeding Populations Increase Again in 2014
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 habitats, which are used to help set hunting season frameworks. Overall, North American breeding duck populations increased 8 percent from 2013 estimates to just over 49 million birds.

VEC to Host Bird Feeder Program
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a bird feeder program on Saturday, July 19 at 2 p.m. Participants will learn how to make feeders from natural items as well as items found around the house. Participants will also learn some interesting facts about common birds seen at backyard feeders.

MDWFP & Cleveland Park Commission to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Bear Pen Park
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Cleveland Park Commission are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Bear Pen Park on Saturday, July 12. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Bear Pen Park is located on Court Street in Cleveland.

Controlled Burning and Herbicide Application at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area
JACKSON – Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located in Panola County, four miles west of Sardis. Controlled burning and selective herbicides are used annually to help maintain the WMA’s 3,900 acres of quality grassland and woodland habitat, which are home to abundant wildlife.

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 be lucky enough to 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.

MDWFP to Participate in Operation Dry Water 2014
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will participate in Operation Dry Water June 27-29 as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI).

George P. Cossar State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a youth fishing rodeo at George P. Cossar State Park on Saturday, July 5. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. George P. Cossar State Park is located at 165 County Road 170 near Oakland.

Paddlefish Stocked in the Bouie River
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently stocked 2,020 paddlefish fingerlings into the Bouie River near Hattiesburg. MDWFP and USFWS have been working together to assess and restore paddlefish stocks in the Pascagoula River drainage. Partially funded by a State Wildlife Grant through the USFWS, adult paddlefish were collected from the Bouie River in March, transported to the Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery in Tupelo, and successfully spawned.

2014-2015 Youth Participation Initiative Program Announced
Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is pleased to announce the Youth Participation Initiative (YPI) will begin accepting applications on July 1, 2014. The YPI Program was established to provide funding for educating and recruiting youth in the areas of hunting, fishing, and natural resource conservation. During 2013-2014, the YPI Program provided a total of $164,956 to help fund 19 projects across Mississippi.

Family Fish Camp to be Held at Tombigbee 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 Tombigbee State Park near Tupelo on August 1-2. Times for the camp are 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The camp is open to youth ages 10-15; its purpose is to introduce Mississippi’s families to fisheries conservation, management, and sport fishing. To make this a family outing, at least one parent (or legal guardian 21 years age or older) is required to attend the camp with the youth.

MDWFP to Host a Youth Fishing Rodeo at Lake Perry
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Perry on Saturday, June 21. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. Lake Perry is located 3 miles south of Beaumont off Hwy 98 on Lake Perry Road.

MDWFP & 100 Black Men of Jackson to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and 100 Black Men of Jackson are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Turcotte Education ponds on Saturday, June 21. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. The Turcotte Education Center is located at 506 Hwy 43 south of Canton.

History of Enid Lake Program to be Presented at VEC
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host the History of Enid Lake program on Saturday, June 21 at 2 p.m.

MDWFP and Southwest MS Community College to Host Pond Management Workshop in Pike County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Southwest Mississippi Community College (SMCC) are hosting a pond management workshop in Pike County. The workshop will be held on the SMCC campus in the Workforce Training Center, room 151 on Tuesday, June 17 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 Jill Gunnell at (601) 276-4811.

MDWFP & 4-H Sport Fishing Program to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and 4-H Sports Fishing are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Neshoba County Lake on Saturday, June 14. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7 a.m. Neshoba County Lake is located off Highway 486 on road 1711 near Philadelphia.

Application Deadline Extended for Camp Fish at NMFH Visitor Education Center
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) will host Camp Fish 2014 at the Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake June 17-20. The camp is open to youth ages 11-15; its purpose is to introduce Mississippi’s youth to fisheries conservation, management, and sport fishing. There is no charge to attend the camp.

MDWFP & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Grenada Lake
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Grenada Lake catfish ponds on Saturday, June 14. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. The ponds are located on the north end of the Grenada Lake dam.

MDWFP & Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Association to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo (1)
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Association will host a youth fishing rodeo at Puskus Lake on Saturday, June 14. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. Puskus Lake is located in Holly Springs National Forest northeast of Oxford.

Winter Water for Wildlife Project Application Period Extended
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), Wildlife Mississippi, and other partners are pleased to announce the application period for the Winter Water for Wildlife project has been extended until June 20 due to abnormally wet planting conditions this spring. “Due to late planting, many farmers were worried they would not have crops harvested in time to meet the required flood dates. We re-evaluated our goals and decided to shorten the flooding period to allow more participations, while still providing important habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds,” said John Gruchy, MDWFP Habitat Program Coordinator.

MDWFP Celebrates 2014 National Fishing and Boating Week
JACKSON - Mark your calendar for National Fishing and Boating Week June 1 - 8, a national celebration of fishing and boating. June 7 and 8 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.

Gulf Coast Strain Walleye stocked into the Buttahatchie River in Monroe County
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked 54,000 Gulf Coast strain (GCS) walleye into the Buttahatchie River near Gattman. GCS walleye are native to rivers and streams in the Mobile River Basin, including the Buttahatchie and Tombigbee Rivers and their tributaries in Mississippi. Habitat enhancement projects have been completed on these rivers to help improve critical walleye habitat.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Simpson 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 Simpson County. The workshop will be held at the Simpson County Barn located at 2785 Simpson Hwy 49 in Mendenhall on Thursday, June 5 at 6 p.m.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Tate County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a lake and pond management workshop in Tate County. The workshop will be held at the Tate County Extension Office at #1 French’s Alley in Senatobia on Thursday, June 5 at 7 p.m.

Katfishin’ Kids Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON – In celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF), Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS), Brown Bottling Group, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Allied Waste Services, and local Wal-Mart stores are hosting the Katfishin’ Kids youth fishing rodeo at Turcotte Education Center on Saturday, June 7. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7 a.m. The Turcotte Education Center is located at 506 Hwy 43 South approximately 7 miles south of Canton.

Youth Fishing Rodeo to be Held at Sardis Lake
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and First Security Bank of Batesville are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Cypress Point Recreation area on the Lower Lake of Sardis on Saturday, June 7. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7 a.m. The Cypress Point Recreation area is located just off Highway 35.

MDWFP & the Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Coahoma County Expo Center on Saturday, June 7. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 10:30 a.m. The Coahoma County Expo Center is located at 1150 Wildcat Drive in Clarksdale.

Black Bear Killed in Vehicle Collision
JACKSON – On Monday, May 26, at approximately 9 p.m., a black bear was hit and killed by a vehicle traveling east on U.S. Hwy. 80 between Newton and Hickory in Newton Co. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Conservation Officer Sgt. Tyler Norman responded to the scene of the accident and found the 168 pound male bear dead on the shoulder of the highway. The driver of the vehicle, who was uninjured, reported that the bear ran out of the woods and into the highway just after the vehicle had crossed Turkey Creek.

New Public Shooting Range Set to Open on May 30
JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is pleased to announce the opening of Mississippi’s newest public shooting range. McHenry Shooting Range, located in South Mississippi near Perkinston, will open on May 30, following an Open House on May 29 from 1 - 4 p.m.

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.

Media Advisory: Grand Opening for Public Shooting Range
Who: The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host an open house to celebrate the opening of Mississippi’s newest public shooting facility, McHenry Shooting Range.

Tornado Damage on John Bell Williams WMA
JACKSON – On April 28, 2014, tornadoes impacted many areas across Mississippi. Several recreational areas in northeast Mississippi managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) received extensive damage to infrastructure and forests. One of those areas was John Bell Williams Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Located in Prentiss County, John Bell Williams WMA is a 2,930-acre WMA consisting of bottomland and upland hardwood forests owned by the Tombigbee Water Management District. The MDWFP cooperatively manages this area for wildlife and outdoor recreation, and the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) assists with all forest management activities.

2014 Mississippi Alligator Hunting Season Applications Being Accepted
JACKSON – Alligator hunting applications will be accepted June 2 – 9 for persons interested in hunting during the 2014 alligator season on public waterways. Applications are available only at www.mdwfp.com. For 2014, there are 7 public waterway zones with 920 total available alligator hunting permits; individuals may apply for any or all zones. All applicants must provide a current email address and possess a valid Mississippi hunting license, residents of Mississippi, and at least 16 years of age. Residents who are exempt from purchasing a hunting license may apply by validating their exempt status on the application. All drawn applicants will be notified via email within five working days of the June 9 deadline.

Mississippi WMAs Offer More than Hunting and Fishing
JACKSON – Mississippi’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are known for providing ample hunting and fishing opportunities. However, each year when the spring turkey season comes to an end, many people stop visiting WMAs until the next fall hunting seasons begin. Hunting season does not have to be open to enjoy the outdoors on WMAs; there are many summertime recreational opportunities available. Fishing is popular throughout the summer on some WMAs such as Pascagoula River and Old River. Visitors can also enjoy activities such as hiking, canoeing, primitive camping, bird watching, outdoor photography, or a family picnic on a sandbar.

Camp Fish 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 Camp Fish 2014 at Paul B. Johnson State Park near Hattiesburg July 21-24. 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.

Natchez State Park receives Florida-strain Largemouth Bass
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked approximately 3,750 Florida-strain largemouth bass into Natchez State Park Lake. This 230-acre lake, located in Adams County, has historically been known as one of the state’s top bass lakes and produced the state’s largemouth bass record of 18.2 pounds in 1992.

MDWFP and Olive Branch Parks & Rec to Host a Youth Fishing Rodeo at George M. Harrison Municipal Park
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Olive Branch Parks and Recreation Department will host a youth fishing rodeo at the George M. Harrison Municipal Park on Saturday, May 31. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. The George M. Harrison Municipal Park is located at 8700 Church Rd at the intersection of Hwy 305.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Itawamba 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 Itawamba County. The workshop will be held at the Itawamba County Extension Office located at 304 Wiygul Street in Fulton on Tuesday, May 27 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 extension office at (662) 862-3201.

Camp Fish to be Held at NMFH Visitor Education Center
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation (MWF) will host Camp Fish 2014 at the Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake June 17-20. 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 to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Lake Claude Bennett
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Claude Bennett on Saturday, May 24. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Lake Claude Bennett is located 20 miles east of Bay Springs on CR 503.

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 the 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 130,000 bass; an additional 40,000 were dispersed from the Pelahatchie Bay Park ramp.

***Media Alert***Fallen Officers Memorial Changed to Wreath Laying
JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a wreath laying ceremony to honor and remember its fallen Conservation Officers Thursday, May 15, at 9 a.m. The ceremony is open to the public and will be held at MDWFP headquarters located at 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS. This will be an abbreviated version of the previously planned observance due to the sudden loss of MDWFP Master Sgt. John Collum, 56, of Fulton.

MDWFP & Trace State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Trace State Park are hosting a youth fishing rodeo on Saturday, May 17. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. Trace State Park is located on Highway 6 approximately 6 miles west of Tupelo.

MDWFP & City of Carthage to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service, and the City of Carthage are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at McMillan Park pond on Saturday, May 17. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. McMillan Park is located on Highway 16 in Carthage.

Visitor Education Center to Host 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 17. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under; registration begins at 7 a.m.

Elvis Presley Lake Closed Until Further Notice
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) announced that Elvis Presley Lake is closed until further notice. The damage caused by the April 28, 2014 tornado has made the facility unsafe for all activities.

MDWFP & U.S. Forest Service to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at the Desoto National Forest Airey Lake Recreation Area
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the U.S. Forest Service are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Airey Lake Recreation Area on Saturday, May 10. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The Airey Lake Recreation Area is located on City Road near Saucier.

MDWFP to Host “Lure You to the Lake” a Youth Fishing Rodeo and Family Fun Day at Prentiss Walker Lake
MDWFP to Host “Lure You to the Lake” a Youth Fishing Rodeo and Family Fun Day at Prentiss Walker Lake JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau will host a youth fishing rodeo and family fun day at Prentiss Walker Lake on Saturday, May 10. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Lake fishing permits will be waived for the day, and families are invited to stay and fish with their young anglers after the youth event. Prentiss Walker Lake is located south of Mize off Highway 35.

MDWFP & U.S. Forest Service to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at the Dove Field Pond in the Chickasawhay Ranger District
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the U.S. Forest Service are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Dove Field Pond on Saturday, May 10. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 9 a.m. The Dove Field Pond is located on Forest Service Road 202 in Jones County.

2014 Alligator Hunting Seasons Announced
JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks finalized regulations for the 2014 alligator hunting season on public waters and private lands in Mississippi on April 16. The statewide public waters season will include opportunities in specific public waterways. A total of 920 permits will be available within 7 hunting zones across the state for the 10-day season, August 29 – September 8, 2014.

Winter Water for Wildlife Project Now Accepting Applications
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), Wildlife Mississippi, and other partners are pleased to announce the Winter Water for Wildlife project. This project will assist private landowners in the Mississippi Delta by offering incentive payments to flood crop fields and manage wetland areas to provide habitat for migrating water birds. This includes existing Wetlands Reserve Program areas.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Adams County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Adams County. The workshop will be held at Natchez State Park located approximately 10 miles north of Natchez, off Highway 61, on Tuesday, May 6 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 preregister by calling the park office at (601) 442-2658.

Handgrabbing Season Opens May 1st
JACKSON – A tradition unlike any other begins May 1. Grabbling, handgrabbing, handfishing, or noodling—whatever you call it—catching catfish with your hands is a popular way of fishing for a lot of Mississippians. The season opens May 1 and runs through July 15.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Leflore 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 Leflore County. The workshop will be held at the Leflore County Extension Service Center at 309 West Market Street in Greenwood on Tuesday, May 6 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 (662) 453-6803 or the Delta region fisheries office at (662) 759-6444.

MDWFP to Honor Fallen Conservation Officers
JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will honor and remember its conservation officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty on May 15. The annual Memorial Service will be held at 9 a.m. at MDWFP headquarters located at 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS.

MDWFP & Meridian Parks and Recreation To Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Meridian Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Q. B. Sykes pond in Meridian on Saturday, April 26. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; and registration begins at 7 a.m.

MDWFP & U.S. Forest Service to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Homochitto National Forest Clear Springs Recreation Area
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the U.S. Forest Service are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Clear Springs Recreation Area on Saturday, April 26. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7 a.m. The Clear Springs Recreation Area is located on Highway 84, just west of Meadville.

Prairie Restoration Efforts on Black Prairie WMA (1)
JACKSON – Black Prairie Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a 5,200-acre area located in Lowndes County within the Black Belt Prairie soil region. Over the past few years, habitat management practices have been focused on restoring native prairie habitats on Black Prairie WMA. These habitat management practices will not only help in restoring native habitats, but will improve wildlife habitat on the area for an array of game and non-game species.

Habitat Improvement Projects Scheduled at Copiah County WMA
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) personnel have begun conducting prescribed burns on selected areas of Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The seasonal, controlled use of fire is essential to enhancing and maintaining habitat for numerous game and non-game wildlife species. Prescribed burning reduces competition from undesirable woody plant species, reduces the potential of wildfire, reduces the disease risk for longleaf pine seedlings, and promotes the growth of desirable herbaceous vegetation favorable to many wildlife species.

MDWFP To Host WMA Open House Meetings
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a series of six open house meetings across the state to gain public input on proposed Wildlife Management Area (WMA) regulations. These meetings will showcase proposed WMA regulation changes for the 2014-15 hunting season. All WMA users, adjacent landowners, hunting clubs, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend. “It is very important for MDWFP to meet with our customers and hear input from the public at every available opportunity,” said Chris McDonald, MDWFP Wildlife Bureau Assistant Director. “These meetings will give us the opportunity to promote our WMA system, gain input from the public regarding regulations, and provide information about WMAs to the public.”

MDWFP Studies Lake Washington Crappie
JACKSON –Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are tagging crappie on Lake Washington to estimate what proportion of the population is caught and harvested by anglers. Biologists recently tagged 400 crappies, 10 inches or longer, with pink tags that look like small pieces of spaghetti. The tags were attached to the fish’s back at the base of the dorsal fin. A telephone number and a unique identification number are printed on each tag.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Marshall County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Marshall County. The workshop will be held at the Marshall County Extension Office at 810 Highway 178 East in Holly Springs on Thursday, April 17 at 7 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 Marshall County Extension Office at (662) 252-3541.

MDWFP and Delta State University to Host Pond Management Workshop in Bolivar County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Delta State University are hosting a pond management workshop in Bolivar County. The workshop will be held at Delta State University in Caylor Hall, Room 105 located at the corner of Oak Street and Fifth Avenue in Cleveland on Thursday, April 24 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 preregister by calling the Delta region fisheries office at (662) 759-6444.

MDWFP & Natchez State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Natchez State Park are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Natchez State Park Lake on Saturday, April 19. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

MDWFP & U.S Forest Service to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U.S. Forest Service are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Choctaw Lake in the Tombigbee National Forest on Saturday, April 12. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 9 a.m. The lake is located 3 miles south of Ackerman on Highway 15.

MDWFP & Brookhaven Parks and Recreation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Brookhaven Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo on Saturday, April 12. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. The pond is located in the Hansel King Sportsplex.

MDWFP & Tupelo Parks and Recreation Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Tupelo Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Veterans Park pond on Saturday, April 12. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Prescribed Burning Underway in North WMA Region
JACKSON – Smoke has been rising from Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in north Mississippi to benefit wildlife. Since early February, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks WMA managers have implemented prescribed burns across designated areas on Charles Ray Nix, Hell Creek, Divide Section, and Canal Section WMAs. In addition, prescribed burning has been conducted by the U.S. Forest Service on Chickasaw and Upper Sardis WMAs. The seasonal managed use of fire is essential to enhance and maintain habitat for numerous game and non-game wildlife species. Prescribed burning during late winter and early spring maintains natural vegetation in a state that provides food and cover for wildlife. These “cool season” burns also minimize damage to timber. Prescribed burning will also take place on selected WMAs during late summer and early fall. These hotter “growing season” burns help control undesirable hardwood growth in old fields, reduce thick vegetation that limits habitat quality, and reduce hazardous fuel conditions for wild fires.

New State Record Rainbow Trout Caught
JACKSON - On Saturday, March 22, a Mississippi angler landed a unique fish that does not naturally exist this far south. Tommy Ware of Ocean Springs was fly fishing at a private pond in Scooba when he hooked a 3 pound 10 ounce Rainbow Trout. Mr. Ware caught the trout on a black wooly bugger fished on a 4x tippet and 5 pound test fishing line. After doing some research, Mr. Ware discovered that his lunker Rainbow Trout was larger than the current state record of 2 pounds 15 ounces, which was caught in Lake Whittington in 2001.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Attala 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 Attala County. The workshop will be held at the Attala County Extension Office located at 715 Fairground Road in Kosciusko on Thursday, April 3 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 extension office at (662) 289-5431.

MDWFP and Canton Parks and Recreation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Canton Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Turcotte Education Center ponds on Saturday, March 29. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7 a.m. The ponds are located at the MDWFP Central Region Office on State Highway 43, approximately 5 miles south of Canton.

Wildlife Habitat Improvements Planned for Pascagoula River WMA
JACKSON – This spring, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will conduct habitat improvements on Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a 37,000-acre WMA located within George and Jackson counties in southeast Mississippi. Although predominately composed of bottomland hardwood forest, the WMA contains scattered pine sites along its perimeter where prescribed burning is applicable.

MDWFP and Wall Doxey State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Wall Doxey State Park are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the park pond on Saturday, March 22, 2014. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under, and registration begins at 8 a.m. Wall Doxey State Park is located on

2014 Fishing Forecast for Mississippi Delta Lakes
As March begins, many Mississippi anglers are anticipating warmer spring weather and the start of a new fishing season. After a slow fishing season in 2013 on many Mississippi River oxbow lakes, anglers are hopeful that fishing will improve in 2014

Upcoming Habitat Management Activities on Wildlife Management Areas
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 across the state.

MDWFP Partners to Manage Wetland Habitat on Private Lands
JACKSON – Mississippi Partners for Fish and Wildlife (MPFW), a partnership of state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and private companies, is working to improve wetland habitat on privately-owned land for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. MPFW is seeking to enroll new private land wetland projects, and the application period will end May 1, 2014.

Spring Turkey Season Opens March 15
JACKSON – It is time for Mississippi’s turkey hunters to practice their yelping and dust off their shotgun. The spring turkey season opens March 15 and ends May 1. Opportunities to pursue spring gobblers are plentiful across the Magnolia State, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) anticipates that hunting success will be good in 2014. “Jake sightings were up across most areas of the state last spring as a result of a very good hatch during the summer of 2012,” says Dave Godwin, MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Coordinator. “This should mean good numbers of two-year-old gobblers, good gobbling activity, and solid success rates,” says Godwin. “We do seem to be off to another relatively late spring, so peak gobbling activity might occur later in the season once the weather warms up.”

MDWFP to Host 2014 Archery Tournaments for Mississippi Schools
JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will host three tournaments for students participating in its Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) program. Over 3,000 student archers representing over 200 schools will compete in North and South region tournaments and the overall AIMS State Archery Tournament in Jackson.

Fishing 2014: Flood Control Reservoirs
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists predict fishing success in 2014 on Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes.

New Fisheries Rules Effective March 26
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) announced several regulation changes that will become effective on March 26, 2014. One of the rule changes bans anglers from using limb lines and set hooks at Lake Washington in Washington County; however, sport fishing trotlines, free floating fishing devices (jugs), and Yo-Yos will be allowed.

Education Center to Host Bat Program
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a program about bats on Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m. This program focuses on Mississippi bat species, bat diets, bat habitats and more.

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.

2014 Fishing Forecast for East Central Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are excited about the upcoming fishing season in east central Mississippi. During summer and fall population sampling on Ross Barnett Reservoir, evidence of a tremendous shad spawn was observed. The large numbers of bait fish will provide quality forage for largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish. “Fall sampling revealed an increase in abundance of largemouth bass from last year,” said MDWFP fisheries biologist Ryan Jones.

2014 Fishing Forecast for Northeast Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about the upcoming fishing season in northeast Mississippi. Results from our fall 2013 population sampling on state lakes and state park lakes revealed high catch rates of small bass in Elvis Presley Lake, Lake Lowndes State Park, Tippah County Lake, and Tombigbee State Park.

Project WILD Aquatic – Teacher Workshop
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a “Project WILD Aquatic” teacher workshop presented by the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. This event will take place on Saturday, March 29 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Deadline for registration is March 17.

2014 Spring Fishing Forecast for Southeast Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are anticipating a productive 2014 fishing season. Population sampling during fall 2013 revealed good catch rates for both Largemouth Bass and young sunfish in the southeast region state lakes. “The cooler temperatures this winter reduced the vegetation in a few of our state lakes which should make fishing easier. We’ve had successful spawns of Bluegill and Largemouth Bass that will produce large year-classes and provide great fishing in coming years,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist, Stephen Brown.

2014 Fishing Forecast for Southwest Mississippi
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists look forward to the upcoming fishing season. “This year should be a great time to be on the water if you are a bass angler,” said MDWFP fisheries biologist, Jerry Brown. “Our state fishing lakes have abundant bass populations and we want to encourage anglers to harvest some of the small bass they catch.” added Brown. Biologists sampled Lake Jeff Davis and Lake Mary Crawford during the fall and found many bass that were 12 inches and less.

2014 Youth Fishing Rodeos
JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has finalized the 2014 Youth Fishing Rodeo schedule. Fishing rodeos are open to youth ages 15 and under. The schedule will be published in the March-April edition of Mississippi Outdoors magazine and can be found online at www.mdwfp.com under the Education and Outreach tab of the Fishing and Boating page.

Museum to Host Pascagoula River Lecture on March 4
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science continues the First Tuesday Lecture Series on March 4, 2014 from noon until 1 p.m. Becky Stowe, Terrestrial Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy, will present "Preserving the Pascagoula - Habitats and History."

Museum to Host 11th Annual “Fossil Road Show”
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 11th Annual Fossil Road Show on Saturday, March 1 from 10 a.m. until 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.

Lake Monroe Closed for Renovations
JACKSON – Lake Monroe, located north of Aberdeen, is now closed to public access. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has completed the process of draining the lake in preparation for planned renovations. Lake Monroe was built in 1954, making it one of the oldest State Lakes managed by MDWFP.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Game Bird and Prescribed Fire Workshops
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Mississippi State University are hosting workshops to teach landowners how to better manage their property for bobwhite quail and wild turkeys and to educate landowners about prescribed fire. These workshops will be held on consecutive days (Game Bird Workshop on day 1 and Prescribed Fire Workshop on day 2) in both north and south Mississippi. The first workshops will occur on February 21 - 22 at the Panola County Extension Building and Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area, respectively. The second workshops will be held February 28 - March 1 at Percy Quin State Park.

White-tailed Deer Season Still Open for Southeast MS Hunters
JACKSON – The white-tailed deer hunting season for most Mississippi hunters came to an end January 31, but that is not the case for southeast Mississippi hunters. Hunters within the Southeast Deer Management Zone will be able to hunt through February 15 during the open primitive weapon and youth gun seasons.

Lake on Charlie Capps WMA to Re-open February 16
JACKSON – The forty-acre lake on Charlie Capps Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will re-open to the public for fishing on Sunday, February 16. While the lake was closed, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) biologists re-stocked the lake with hybrid crappie and redear sunfish.

2014 Youth Art Contest
Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2014 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 15, 2014.

MDWFP Proposes Fisheries Rule Changes 1-27-14
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) announced several proposed regulation changes for the upcoming fishing season. One of the proposed rule changes will ban anglers from using limb lines and set hooks at Lake Washington in Washington County; however, sport fishing trotlines, free floating fishing devices (jugs), and Yo-Yos will be allowed. Another proposed change will place a 15-inch minimum size limit and a daily creel limit of two fish for largemouth bass at Grenada Lake North Abutment Lake. Creel limits for the Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area ponds in Panola County will increase to statewide limits for all fish if the rule is adopted. Skiers visiting State Fishing Lakes will be allowed to ski on Memorial Day and the July 4th and Labor Day holidays from noon until sunset.

Turkey Hunting Applications Available for Canemount WMA
JACKSON - Canemount Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located near Port Gibson in Claiborne County. Canemount WMA includes approximately 3,500 acres of hardwood forests and turkeys are abundant. Turkey hunters looking for a truly special hunting opportunity with a good chance of seeing and harvesting game should look no further than Canemount WMA.

Wildlife Management Area Turkey Hunting Applications Available
JACKSON – On January 15, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) began accepting applications for turkey hunting on selected Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Permitted turkey hunts are offered to provide a quality turkey hunting experience and are available on 15 WMAs across the state. To participate in these hunts, applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com/draws before February 15 and have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt.

Youth Turkey Hunting Applications Available for Canemount WMA
JACKSON - Canemount Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located near Port Gibson in Claiborne County. Canemount WMA includes approximately 3,500 acres of hardwood forests and turkeys are abundant. Hunters looking for a truly special youth turkey hunting opportunity with a good chance of seeing and harvesting game should look no further than Canemount WMA.

Got Fish Fishing Seminars at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) Museum of Natural Science will host its annual “Got FISH?” fishing seminar program, moderated by “Mississippi Outdoors” TV show co-host Randy Newell, on January 25, 2014 from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. This event is included in the regular Museum admission fee.

2014 Youth Participation Initiative Squirrel Hunts
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is partnering with the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host seven youth squirrel hunts throughout Mississippi on Saturday, February 8, 2014. Hunt locations will be Canal Section WMA, Caney Creek WMA, Copiah County WMA, Twin Oaks WMA, Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Sardis Waterfowl WMA, and Pascagoula River WMA. These hunts were developed to introduce youth to small game hunting and conservation. The hunts are provided at no cost to participants.

Access Improvements made on Pascagoula River WMA
JACKSON – Many improvements were made last fall on Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), including the reopening of Big Slough Road for motor vehicle use and the addition of four new deer data collection stations. Big Slough Road underwent major renovations, greatly improving user access. Users can now drive to the still hunting zone, as well as to the boat ramp on Lices Lake. On the north portion of the WMA, deer data collection stations were added next to permit stations on Cochran Dead River and East Wilkerson Ferry roads. Two deer data collection stations were also added on the south portion of the WMA at Deep Slough and Graham Lake roads. The addition of these deer data collection stations will decrease the distance hunters must travel to check-in harvested deer. All deer harvested on the WMA must be checked in.

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.

Additional Bream and Catfish Stocked at Lake Lamar Bruce
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked an additional 200,000 Bluegill, 10,000 Channel Catfish, and 100,000 Redear Sunfish into Lake Lamar Bruce in Lee County. The fish were reared at the Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery in Tupelo. “The double stocking of Bluegill and Redear Sunfish is a proactive management approach that we are using to delay the Largemouth Bass population from overcrowding,” stated MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. Stubbs added, “Our goal is to provide a long-term, quality fishery; doubling the Bluegill and Redear Sunfish populations is one strategy to help us achieve that goal.”

3rd White-tailed Deer Gun Season Opens December 24
JACKSON – Mississippi’s 3rd white-tailed deer gun hunting season will open December 24 and run through January 22. Hunting with dogs is allowed during this season. Legal deer include either-sex on private lands and legal bucks only on open public lands.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp Announced
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is partnering with Ducks Unlimited and many volunteers to host the MDWFP 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.

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).

Late Season Dove Hunting Opportunity Approaching
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks wants to remind hunters that the third and final segment of Mississippi’s dove season is quickly approaching.

Youth Squirrel Hunting Opportunity Available at Natchez State Park (1)
JACKSON – Youth hunters will have an opportunity to hunt squirrels on Natchez State Park during February 2014. Natchez State Park, located off Highway 61 in Adams County, also provides limited deer and turkey hunts through permit drawings each year. This is the second year that the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has allowed youth squirrel hunting on the park. The dense hardwood forests at Natchez State Park provide excellent habitat and hunting for squirrels.

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.

Primitive Weapon Season for Deer Opens December 2
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Deer Program reminds hunters the statewide Primitive Weapons Season for deer opens Monday, December 2 and runs through Sunday, December 15. Antlerless deer and zone-legal bucks are eligible for harvest. Hunters may take both an antlerless deer and a legal buck within the same day.

Waterfowl Habitat Improvements Continue at Tuscumbia WMA
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks resumed work in October 2013 to improve waterfowl habitat on Tuscumbia Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Quail Season Opens Thanksgiving Day (1)
JACKSON – Mississippi’s statewide bobwhite quail hunting season will open November 28, 2013 and close March 1, 2014. The daily bag limit is eight quail. Several public lands around the state offer quail hunting opportunities, but hunters should be prepared to put in some time to find birds.

Museum Merriment at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (1)
Make merry memories this season at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science! “Join us for family holiday fun from interactive Creature Features with live animals to hands-on crafting and unique shopping,” explains Charles Knight, museum director.

Thirteen Public Lakes Receive Crappie Stockings
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked over 126,000 Magnolia Crappie and 147,500 White Crappie into 13 public lakes across the state. White crappie were stocked into Eagle Lake in Warren County and Bee Lake in Holmes County. Magnolia Crappie were stocked into 10 of MDWFP’s smaller state fishing and state park lakes.

Bluegill Stocked into Delta Oxbow Lakes
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked Coppernose Bluegill into two Delta oxbow lakes. Approximately 179,000 fish were stocked into Bee Lake, an oxbow lake in Holmes County that is still recovering from extensive flooding during 2011. Moon Lake, a 2,300 acre lake located in Coahoma County, received 104,000 Bluegill.

Planting of Wildlife Openings Affected on U.S. Forest Service WMAs
JACKSON – Management of permanent openings is an important component of managing habitat for wildlife. These openings may be planted for cool season or warm season food plots or simply maintained in early successional vegetation. The intensity in which the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks manages wildlife openings on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) is impacted by factors such as land ownership and the wildlife species of management emphasis. Some WMAs are owned by the MDWFP. Many are managed under memoranda of understanding with the U.S. Forest Service or private corporations. Others are operated through long-term license agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

White-tailed Deer Gun Season Opens November 23
JACKSON – Mississippi’s white-tailed deer hunting season with guns opens November 23 and runs through December 1. Hunting with dogs is allowed during this season. Legal deer include antlerless deer and legal bucks on private lands and legal bucks on open public lands.

Squirrel Season Begins with a Bang on Pascagoula River Basin WMAs
JACKSON – Hunters in Squirrel Zone 3 had the opportunity to kick off squirrel season two weeks early by making a trip to their local Wildlife Management Area (WMA). While private land squirrel season in Zone 3 opened on October 26, the season on WMAs in this zone began October 12.

Public Lakes Receive Redear Sunfish
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) last week stocked Redear Sunfish into four public water bodies around the state. Approximately 46,000 Redear Sunfish were stocked into Neshoba County Lake, a state fishing lake near Philadelphia. The lake within the Charlie Capps Wildlife Management Area, located in Bolivar County, received 2,500 Redear Sunfish, and the lake at Tombigbee State Park, near Tupelo, received 4,500 fish. In addition, 600 Redear Sunfish were stocked into the ponds at Olive Branch City Park in Desoto County.

2013 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 in this region has already started to improve, as water temperatures decrease. “Fall fishing is often overlooked as most people start concentrating on hunting,” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. “However, in the fall, fish will feed more in preparation for the winter months producing some of the best fishing of the year,” said Stubbs. Fall bass anglers should target lakes that have large shad and shiner populations such as Pickwick, Bay Springs, Trace State Park, and the Canal Section Lakes A through E that make up the Tenn-Tom Waterway.

Mississippi Special Primitive Weapons Hunt Begins November 11
Special Primitive Weapons Season for white-tailed deer will open on Monday, November 11 in the Hill and Delta Deer Zones. The Special Primitive Weapons Hunt is for antlerless deer only on private lands and open public lands from November 11 – 22. This special season is provided to allow hunters on properties with higher deer densities, additional and earlier opportunities to meet antlerless harvest objectives prior to the rut.

Mississippi Waterfowl Seasons Upcoming
JACKSON – Mississippi’s goose hunting seasons open Thursday, November 14 and the first duck season split opens Friday, November 22. With strong breeding population estimates last spring, Mississippi duck hunters are optimistic about the upcoming season. However, hunters should remember that winter severity and habitat availability also play a major role in how many ducks make their way to Mississippi.

November 16 is Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) reminds everyone that all Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) with waterfowl hunting opportunity will be open for the first youth waterfowl hunting day on November 16, 2013. Adults are encouraged to participate by taking a youth under the age of 16 hunting. An additional youth waterfowl hunting day will be February 1, 2014.

MDWFP to Host Youth Waterfowl Hunt at Muscadine Farms WMA on Nov. 16
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting an organized youth waterfowl hunt at Muscadine Farms Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during the first youth waterfowl hunting day on November 16. This event is focused on introducing youth, their parents, and guardians to waterfowl hunting and to the quality hunting opportunities offered at WMAs. During the evening of November 15, hunters and MDWFP staff will gather at nearby Leroy Percy State Park for a sponsored dinner and will discuss waterfowl management, hunter safety, and a variety of other topics to prepare for the Saturday morning hunt.

Youth Gun Deer Season Opens November 9
JACKSON – Deer season for youth hunters ages15 and under begins Saturday, November 9. Youth get the first chance with firearms at our state’s deer herd. Youth may use any modern firearm and may harvest one buck with hardened antler and one doe per day, not to exceed three bucks and five does the entire deer season. The spread and main beam antler criteria do not apply to youth hunters. Recent rainfall, combined with moderate temperatures across most of the state has food plots up and growing. In areas where acorns are not abundant, hunters can expect increased activity in food plots.

Planned Renovation at Lake Monroe Brings Fishing Opportunity
JACKSON – Lake Monroe, located north of Aberdeen, will be getting a facelift. Beginning in November, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will begin the process of draining the lake in preparation for planned renovations. Lake Monroe was built in 1954, making it one of the oldest State Lakes managed by MDWFP.

MDWFP Partners with Mississippi Highway Patrol in “TOY DRIVE for Batson”
JACKSON — Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is partnering with the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) during the 2013 “TOY DRIVE for Batson.” Beginning November 1, MDWFP Conservation Officers will collect new toys until December 13 at the following MDWFP regional office locations:

Habitat Improvement Projects Ongoing at Marion County WMA
JACKSON – Marion County Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located south of Columbia, is the only state-owned WMA in Mississippi that is predominately forested with longleaf pine. Prescribed fire is the primary tool used by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) personnel on Marion County WMA to maintain desirable conditions in the area’s longleaf forests.

MDWFP & Mississippi Valley State University to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) will host a youth fishing rodeo at the MVSU campus pond on Saturday, November 2. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under; registration begins at 7 a.m. MVSU is located on Highway 82 in Itta Bena.

Paul B. Johnson State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON – Paul B. Johnson State Park will be hosting a youth fishing rodeo on Saturday, October 26. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under. Registration begins at 7a.m. Paul B. Johnson State Park is located on Hwy. 49 south of Hattiesburg.

MDWFP and the City of Biloxi to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Biloxi are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Hiller Park Recreation Area on Saturday, October 26. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Hiller Park is located on Hiller Drive off of Pass Road in Biloxi.

Access Improved at Charles Ray Nix and Tuscumbia WMAs
JACKSON – During September 2013, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) improved management and hunter access on Charles Ray Nix and Tuscumbia Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

Longleaf Pine Restoration Program Now Accepting Applications
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks are pleased to announce a new program to provide cost-share to private landowners interested in restoring longleaf pine forests in south Mississippi. The Longleaf Pine Restoration Program offers 50 percent cost-share for planting longleaf pine in Covington, Lamar, Marion, and Pearl River counties.

Creepy Crafts and Spooky Science at 2nd Annual “Park after Dark”
Join the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) for “Park after Dark” and enjoy safe, family Halloween fun on Friday, October 25 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The MMNS is partnering with the Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) and LeFleur’s Bluff State Park for this family event.

MDWFP and Kemper Tourism to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Kemper County Tourism will be hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Kemper County Lake on Saturday, October 12. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. Kemper County Lake is located northeast of DeKalb on CR 397.

Mississippi Rabbit Season Opens October 12
JACKSON – Mississippi’s 2013 – 2014 rabbit hunting season opens October 12, 2013 and closes February 28, 2014. The bag limit is 8 per day. Rabbit hunting is a fun and exciting way to spend time with family and friends and is great way to introduce new people to hunting.

MDWFP to Host 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, October 19. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m.

MDWFP Public Hunting Lands Are Open During Shutdown
JACKSON –The ongoing shutdown of the federal government has closed many popular public hunting areas in Mississippi, and the offices of federal agencies responsible for many of these lands are also closed. With small game and archery seasons just beginning in most parts of the state, many hunters are puzzled about which public lands are available and open for public use.

Cartridge Broadheads are Illegal for use in Archery Season
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has received several inquiries as to whether or not a device that attaches to an arrow can be used for hunting deer in Mississippi. The devices are similar to “bang sticks” and allow a handgun or other metallic cartridge to be placed inside the device which is then screwed onto the end of a conventional archery arrow. The arrow can then be fired as any other arrow; however, when the arrow impacts the target, the cartridge is fired, propelling the bullet into the target/quarry, killing the quarry.

WMA Waterfowl Draw Hunt Applications Available October 14
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will begin accepting applications for waterfowl draw hunts on several Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) on October 14. Applications must be submitted online at www.mdwfp.com/draws. WMAs offering waterfowl draw hunts are Charlie Capps, Howard Miller, Indianola, Mahannah, Muscadine Farms, Tuscumbia, and Trim Cane. Hunters can select the WMA of their choice and assign priority to the dates they wish to hunt.

MS Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Foundation Names Two New Board Members
The Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Foundation announces the appointment of two new board members.

Outdoor Recreational Opportunities Remain Open in Mississippi
JACKSON – Mississippi’s most popular hunting seasons are just getting started, fall fishing is starting to improve, and the majority of our state’s public outdoor recreational areas will remain open despite the federal government shutdown. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), state lakes, and state parks are open to the public. In addition, National Forests operated by the U.S. Forest Service will remain open for hunting access.

Apply Now for Rabbit Hunts at Trim Cane and Nanih Waiya WMAs
JACKSON – Applications are now available for draw rabbit hunts with dogs at Nanih Waiya and Trim Cane Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). To participate in these hunts, applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com/draws before October 15. Applicants must have a valid Mississippi hunting license before applying for a WMA draw hunt. After purchasing or renewing a hunting license, applicants must wait 24 hours before applying.

Mississippi Wild Turkey Brood Survey Results
JACKSON – Each year from June to August, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) conducts a survey to monitor wild turkey reproduction across the state. The “brood survey”, as it is commonly known, enlists numerous observers who note all turkeys seen during the three-month survey period. The resulting information allows turkey biologists to measure reproductive success and gives hunters an objective look at how turkeys are faring across the Magnolia State.

MDWFP Hosts “Lure U to the Lake” at Lake Bogue Homa
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and The Cliff White Chapter of the Mississippi Wild Turkey Federation are hosting a free family fishing day at Lake Bogue Homa on Saturday, October 5. Lake Bogue Homa is located off of Hwy 84, east of Laurel.

Mississippi Deer Archery Seasons Open October 1 & October 15
JACKSON – Hunters are looking forward to the opening day of the 2013 - 2014 Mississippi deer hunting season. Archery season opens on October 1 in the Hill and Delta Zones and opens on October 15 in the Southeast Zone. Hunters need to be aware that the archery season opening date for the Southeast Zone listed in the 2013 – 2014 Mississippi Outdoor Digest is incorrect.

Tunica County Youth Fishing Rodeo Rescheduled for September 28
JACKSON – The Youth Fishing Rodeo, sponsored by The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Tunica County at the Paul Battle, Jr. Arena & Exposition Center, has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 28. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. The Center is located on Highway 61 in Tunica.

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day…Go Fishing!
JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) invites hunters, anglers, and outdoorsmen to join in the nationwide celebration of hunting, fishing, shooting, and wildlife conservation on September 28. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created in 1971 to celebrate hunting and fishing and to recognize America's sportsman-based system of conservation funding. This system now generates more than $1.7 billion per year and benefits all who appreciate wildlife and wild places.

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day at “Outdoorama on the Rez”
JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) invites Mississippians to join in the nationwide celebration of hunting, fishing, shooting, and wildlife conservation on September 28, National Hunting and Fishing Day, by attending “Outdoorama on the Rez”. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created in 1971 to celebrate hunting and fishing and to recognize America's sportsman-based system of conservation funding. That system now generates more than $1.7 billion per year and benefits all who appreciate wildlife and wild places.

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day…Go Hunting!
JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) invites hunters, anglers, and outdoorsmen to join in a nationwide celebration of hunting, fishing, shooting, and wildlife conservation on September 28. National Hunting and Fishing Day was created in 1971 to celebrate hunting and fishing and to recognize America's sportsman-based system of conservation funding. That system now generates more than $1.7 billion per year and benefits all who appreciate wildlife and wild places.

MDWFP & Tunica County to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Tunica County will host a youth fishing rodeo at the Paul Battle, Jr. Arena & Exposition Center on Saturday, September 14. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The Center is located on Highway 61 in Tunica.

MDWFP & Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Association to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Association will host a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Patsy on Saturday, September 14. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Lake Patsy is located in Oxford.

New Exhibit Features American Alligator and Record Breaking Alligator Gar
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science is proud to announce the installation of a new permanent exhibit featuring an alligator gar and an American alligator recently acquired by the Museum. “Look up just before you reach the Pearl River Aquarium at the Museum to see the mounted specimens,” invites Matt E. Roberts, Ph.D., Curator of Fishes.

Better Gourds and Gardens
JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a gourd program September 14 at 2 p.m. Participants young and young at heart will have the opportunity to create birdhouses from different types of gourds. Staff and volunteers will also share some creative, crafting ideas for inside and outside of the home using old flower pots. See examples, share tips, and try your artistic abilities! Supplies are provided but space is limited.

Mississippi’s Early Teal and Rail Seasons Open September 14
JACKSON – The fall’s first duck hunting opportunity for Mississippi will begin when early teal season opens on September 14 and will last until September 29. Teal season is growing in popularity as hunters are learning how fun it can be to break out their decoys and calls to watch blue-winged teal sail through the air. Hunters need to make sure their hunting license is current for the 2013-14 hunting season, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification for Mississippi. Hunters also need to purchase state and federal waterfowl stamps. The bag limit for the September teal season is six per day (all teal species) with no more than 18 in possession.

Permit Needed for Deer Camera Survey
JACKSON – September is a prime month for conducting camera surveys for white-tailed deer. Camera surveys are a proven technique that managers and hunters can use for estimating population density, adult sex ratio, and buck age structure. Camera surveys require “feed stations” to be set up throughout the property and normally use one camera station per 100 acres. However, fewer cameras can be used depending on data needed. Surveys are normally conducted over a 10 to 20-day period. As described in 40 Miss Admin. Code, Part 2, Rule 2.4, a 21-day camera survey permit must be obtained from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). This permit is free of charge and can be requested online at www.mdwfp.com/deer.

MWFP Foundation to Host Super Hunt in November
MWFP Foundation to Host Super Hunt in November JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MWFP Foundation) will host the first annual “Super Hunt: A Deer Hunt for Youth with Disabilities” on November 1 – 3, 2013. This three day event is free to any disabled child ages 6 to 17.

MDWFP Offers Deer Management Technical Guidance
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Deer Program biologists provide countless hours of technical guidance to landowners, lease holders, and hunters across the Magnolia State annually. This technical guidance is primarily provided through the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP). In 2012, MDWFP Deer Program biologists conducted over 200 technical guidance site visits.

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.

Mississippi’s Early Canada Goose Season Opening Soon
JACKSON – Mississippi hunters will get their first chance to hunt waterfowl when the early Canada goose season opens September 1. This season is open to help manage Mississippi’s population of resident Canada geese, which can become overpopulated and create nuisance problems in local areas. The season will close on September 15, giving hunters a two week opportunity to pursue these birds. Hunters need to be sure their hunting license is current for the 2013-14 hunting season, complete with Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification for Mississippi, as well as state and federal waterfowl stamps.

Dove Season is Quickly Approaching
JACKSON – One of the most popular hunting days of the year is quickly approaching. Dove hunting season will open on September 1 at 2 p.m. All Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) conservation officers will be working with federal officers to ensure hunters are in compliance with state and federal hunting laws.

Mississippi’s Alligator Hunters Prepare for Season Opening
JACKSON – Over 1,200 permitted hunters and their guests recently attended mandatory alligator training courses presented by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) to prepare for the 2013 permitted alligator hunts on public waterways and private lands. These mandatory courses, held at Jones County Community College, Delta State University, and Roosevelt State Park were led by MDWFP biologists and conservation officers. Course topics included alligator biology, research projects, legal capture and harvest methods, skinning and processing, proper documentation, license purchasing procedures, and boating safety.

Permits for North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuges Now Available through MDWFP
JACKSON – A new license privilege is now available for purchase wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. This privilege, an annual user permit for the North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuges (privilege code 606), is available through an innovative agreement between the MDWFP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). The North Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge Complex, based in Grenada, includes Tallahatchie, Coldwater River, and Dahomey NWRs. The cost of the permit is $15 and allows users to hunt and fish on these three refuges for a year.

Golden Memorial State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - Golden Memorial State Park will be hosting a youth fishing rodeo on Friday, August 30. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years of age and under. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Golden Memorial State Park is located on Damascus Road in Walnut Grove.

MDWFP Offering Dove Hunting Opportunity in Pearl River 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 Pearl River County and is offering a limited number of hunting permits for purchase. The 90-acre field has been planted in corn and browntop millet and is located east of Lumberton. The corn will be harvested for silage and grain. The millet will be cut and baled for hay prior to opening day. “Dove hunting is very popular; however, the MDWFP has recognized that having access to properly prepared, family friendly dove fields can be difficult for people to find,” states Scott Baker, MDWFP Dove Field Program Leader. Baker says, “The MDWFP has partnered with a local farmer to make this field available for hunters. Our goal is to have a safe field that offers good hunting for the entire family to enjoy.”

MDWFP Offering Dove Hunting Opportunity in Copiah 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 Copiah County and is offering a limited number of hunting permits for purchase. The 50-acre browntop millet field is located near the Rockport community. The millet will be cut and baled for hay prior to opening day. “Dove hunting is very popular; however, the MDWFP has recognized that having access to properly prepared, family friendly dove fields can be difficult for people to find,” states Scott Baker, MDWFP Dove Field Program Leader. Baker says, “The MDWFP has partnered with a local farmer to make this field available for hunters. Our goal is to have a safe field that offers good hunting for the entire family to enjoy.”

MDWFP Offering Dove Hunting Opportunity in Rankin 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 Rankin County and is offering a limited number of hunting permits for purchase. The 63-acre browntop millet field is located in the Monterey community. The millet will be cut and baled for hay prior to opening day. “Dove hunting is very popular; however, the MDWFP has recognized that having access to properly prepared, family friendly dove fields can be difficult for people to find,” states Scott Baker, MDWFP Dove Field Program Leader. Baker says, “The MDWFP has partnered with a local farmer to make this field available for hunters. Our goal is to have a safe field that offers good hunting for the entire family to enjoy.”

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 92-acre browntop millet field is located east of Scooba. “Dove hunting is very popular; however, the MDWFP has recognized that having access to properly prepared, family friendly dove fields can be difficult for people to find,” states Scott Baker, MDWFP Dove Field Program Leader. Baker says, “The MDWFP has partnered with a local farmer to make this field available for hunters. Our goal is to have a safe field that offers good hunting for the entire family to enjoy. The Kemper County field has been in our program since 2005 and as many as 700 doves have been harvested on an opening weekend.”

Private Lands Dove Field Permits Available for Purchase
JACKSON – Hunting permits for private land dove fields are now available for purchase. The Private Land Dove Field Program is a popular program in which Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) biologists work with private landowners to prepare dove fields and manage public access on private lands for hunting. For the 2013-14 hunting season, MDWFP private land dove fields will be located in Copiah, Jones, Kemper, Pearl River, Prentiss, Rankin, and Tate counties. These fields were planted in a variety of crops favored by doves, including sunflowers, millet, and corn. Permits allow hunters to hunt three days per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday) during the first two dove seasons. These permits provide an excellent opportunity to introduce youth to hunting, as each permit allows up to two youth to hunt with an adult hunter at no additional cost.

New Waterfowl Hunting Opportunity on Indianola WMA
JACKSON - Indianola Wildlife Management Area (WMA) was purchased in 2010 by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). This 1,019-acre area primarily consists of retired aquaculture ponds, which are being developed to provide quality waterfowl habitat on agricultural, moist-soil, and reforested wetland impoundments. Since its purchase, MDWFP WMA and Waterfowl Program staff have worked to secure additional funding necessary for wetland habitat improvements including levee work, well installments, and water control structures.

Scaup Bag Limit Change Announced
JACKSON – Each year, scaup bag limits are set based on breeding population numbers and predicted harvest estimates. From this information, one of three packages (Restricted, Moderate, or Liberal) is selected for the season’s scaup regulations. For the 2013-14 hunting season, harvest management considerations recommended a moderate scaup package, which historically would mean a 60-day season with a 2-bird bag. Biologists from the Mississippi Flyway held their annual meeting in late July to discuss regulatory issues, and the recommendation to increase the moderate scaup package to a 3-bird bag limit was presented.

Mississippi’s Waterfowl Late Seasons Announced
Jackson- The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2013-2014 waterfowl hunting season at its July 17 meeting. “Breeding populations were strong in 2013, which resulted in a liberal season framework of 60 days with a 6-duck limit,” said James Callicutt, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Waterfowl Program Biologist. Duck, merganser, and coot seasons will be November 22 - November 24, 2013; November 29 - December 1, 2013; and December 4, 2013 - January 26, 2014. The daily bag limit will be a total of 6 ducks, including no more than 4 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be females), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 scaup, 2 pintail, 2 canvasback, 1 mottled duck, and 1 black duck. The merganser daily bag limit will be a total of 5 mergansers, only 2 of which may be hooded mergansers. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit for ducks, mergansers, and coots.

Road Improvements Completed on Old River WMA
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) personnel recently completed improvements to roads on Old River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) this summer. Old River WMA roads are often damaged due to regular winter and spring flooding of the Pearl River. These roads provide management access as well as public access for hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities.

Deer, Early Teal, and Rabbit Hunting Applications Available August 1
JACKSON – Beginning August 1, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will accept draw permit applications for deer, early season teal, and rabbit 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. After purchasing or renewing your license you must wait 24 hours until you can apply.

Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications
Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is continuing its partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, and Wildlife Mississippi 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 10,000 acres in North and South Mississippi.

Mississippi’s 2013-14 Dove Seasons Announced
JACKSON – The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has approved dates for the 2013-14 dove season. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides a “window” of dates from which states may select specific season dates. The 2013-14 dove season will be similar to previous seasons with a few minor changes.

Mississippi’s 2013-2014 Early Migratory Game Bird Seasons Announced
JACKSON - The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved dates for the 2013-14 early hunting seasons for migratory birds on July 17, 2013. Early migratory game bird hunting seasons set during the July meeting include resident Canada geese, early teal, snipe, woodcock, and rails. This year, early seasons will be similar to recent years.

Waterfowl Breeding Populations Remain Strong in 2013
JACKSON - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service recently completed their annual waterfowl population surveys on the breeding grounds to monitor waterfowl populations and to help set hunting season frameworks. Overall, North American breeding waterfowl populations estimates declined 6 percent from 2012 to just under 46 million birds, which is still 33 percent above the long-term average.

Water Contact and Fish Consumption Advisory on Three Streams in Wayne County
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued a temporary water contact advisory on July 1 for Eucutta and Nicholson Creeks and a nearby portion of the Chickasawhay River. This advisory was issued due to oil spilling from a nearby well in Wayne County. Approximately three miles of Eucutta Creek and Nicholson Creek and 12 miles of the Chickasawhay River near Boice were affected. Clean-up efforts to remove the oil will continue for several days. MDEQ recommends that people avoid swimming, wading, and boating in these waters. In addition to the water contact advisory, people should also avoid eating fish from the affected area until further notice. Waters not included in this advisory will remain open to all fishing and boating activities, and all fish remain safe to consume.

Waterfowl Management at Trim Cane WMA
JACKSON – The primary management objective at Trim Cane Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is to provide quality habitat for waterfowl. To meet this objective, wildlife managers develop short and long-term management plans, which incorporate the latest management techniques. Though waterfowl season may seem like a long way off, wildlife managers have already begun spraying noxious weeds and planting supplemental crops within the seven waterfowl impoundments on the WMA. Improving habitat quality within these impoundments ensures that quality food sources are available this coming winter. Nuisance species such as beaver and nutria can negatively affect water levels and natural drainage patterns within impoundments. Thus, managers also work hard to control these nuisance species throughout Trim Cane WMA.

Early Migratory Game Bird Frameworks Announced
JACKSON – On June 25, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released early-season frameworks that provide a “window” of dates from which states may select specific season dates. This year, these early season frameworks will be very similar to recent years.

MDWFP to Participate in Operation Dry Water
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will participate in Operation Dry Water June 28-30 as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence (BUI).

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Jasper County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Jasper County. The workshop will be held in the Jasper County Multi-Purpose Building located at 37 West 8th Avenue in Bay Springs on Tuesday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the MDWFP regional office at (601) 859-3421.

Road Improvements on Theodore A. Mars, Jr. WMA
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is planning road improvement projects on Theodore A. Mars, Jr. Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Theodore A. Mars, Jr. WMA is located in Pearl River County just south of Poplarville. The MDWFP began managing the WMA soon after acquisition in 2007. The primary management objective for the 900-acre WMA is longleaf pine restoration.

Roosevelt State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - Roosevelt State Park will host a youth fishing rodeo on Saturday, June 29. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8 a.m. Roosevelt State Park is located on Highway 13 in Morton.

MDWFP / MSU to Host Deer Management Workshops
JACKSON – Landowners, sportsmen, and professionals can learn techniques to manage Mississippi’s white-tailed deer population during four upcoming workshops.

Public Access Improvements on Malmaison WMA
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will begin work this summer on infrastructure improvements on Malmaison Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Improvements will include enhancing parking areas at the McIntyre Scatters and greentree reservoir boat ramps, improving access to ATV trails, and applying gravel to parking and camping areas throughout the WMA. The MDWFP strives to provide reasonable public access on WMAs.

Lake on Charlie Capps WMA to Open for Fishing on July 1
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is excited to announce the opening of a forty-acre lake on Charlie Capps WMA. The majority of the original lake is now managed as a wildlife management area for waterfowl, but the smaller lake constructed inside the original lake bed will provide the public with excellent fishing opportunities.

Forest Habitat Improvements Planned For John Bell Williams WMA
JACKSON – Approximately 186 acres of bottomland hardwoods on John Bell Williams Wildlife Management Area (JBWMA) are scheduled for thinning during the summer of 2013. Located in Prentiss County, JBWMA is a 2,930-acre tract of bottomland and upland hardwood forest with some mixed pine-hardwood stands.

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.

2013-2014 Youth Participation Initiative Announced
Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is pleased to announce the Youth Participation Initiative (YPI) will begin accepting applications on July 1, 2013. The YPI Program was established to provide funding for educating and recruiting youth in the areas of hunting, fishing, and natural resource conservation. During 2012-2013, the YPI Program provided a total of $171,953 to help fund 18 projects across Mississippi.

Buccaneer State Park Water Park Set to Open on June 13
JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) on Tuesday announced that Buccaneer Bay Water Park will reopen on Thursday, June 13. Located on the beach in Waveland, the water park features a wave pool, water slides, kid’s splash area, and concession area.

MDWFP Fisheries Director Retiring
MDWFP Fisheries Director Retiring JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) announced that Fisheries Bureau Director Ron Garavelli is retiring June 30, after more than 39 years of experience in natural resource conservation. Garavelli started his career with MDWFP in 1977 as a fisheries biologist and became Fisheries Bureau Director in 1985. He is credited with the beginning of the Agency’s Youth fishing rodeo program and was very involved with design and development of the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and Visitor Education Center at Enid Lake.

Mississippi Coast Black Bears on the Move
Mississippi Coast Black Bears on the Move JACKSON – In recent weeks, several areas in Jackson and Harrison counties have experienced higher than normal black bear activity. Southeast Mississippi is home to a small population of Louisiana Black Bear which normally occur farther north around Desoto National Forest, several State Wildlife Management Areas, and on private lands. During spring, 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 in the Mississippi coastal areas.

Governor Bryant Proclaims June “Great Outdoors Month”
JACKSON— Governor Phil Bryant has proclaimed June 2013 as "Great Outdoors Month," encouraging Mississippians to enjoy our state's natural beauty, and celebrate our commitment to conserve and enhance our wildlife, fisheries, parks, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Reducing Snake Problems Around the Home
JACKSON—Snakes are as much a part of Mississippi life as mosquitoes, and, in most cases, are harmless, beneficial creatures that eat rodent and insects in residential yards. Of the 42 species of snakes native to Mississippi, only six are dangerous to humans: cottonmouth, copperhead, pygmy rattlesnake, coral snake, timber rattlesnake, and eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Mississippi Ranked in the Top Ten for White-tailed Deer Hunting
JACKSON – Over the past several hunting seasons, Mississippi deer hunters have harvested some of the largest white-tailed deer on record. Mississippi is beginning to be acknowledged as one of the top white-tailed deer states in the nation. This was recently highlighted in the June/July issue of Outdoor Life magazine. Outdoor Life ranked Mississippi seventh in the nation for producing large bucks. This ranking was based on four criteria for each state: number of bucks qualifying for the Boone and Crockett records program, hunter density, cost of guided hunts, and hunter friendliness in terms of laws and regulations. The top ten states were ranked as follows: Kentucky; Kansas; Indiana; Iowa; Minnesota; Illinois; Mississippi; Nebraska; Ohio; and, Oklahoma.

Let Nature Take Its Course – Don’t Pick Up Young Wildlife!
JACKSON – With spring underway and summer quickly approaching, newborn wildlife is abound 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.

Avoid Disturbing Ground Nesting Birds
JACKSON – The months of May and June are the peak nesting season for many birds. Some species, including wild turkeys and bobwhite quail, nest directly on the ground, often nesting adjacent to roadways, along field margins, or near forest edges, and proximity to these areas can lead to their disturbance by human activities. In the event that nest sites are discovered, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) urges citizens leave the area immediately and avoid unnecessary disturbance around the nest area in order to lessen the threat of undue detrimental impact. When feasible, the MDWFP recommends delaying pasture maintenance activities such as mowing or haying until July 1 to ensure the safety of nesting wild turkeys in these areas.

MDWFP & The 4-H Sport Fishing Program Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the 4-H Sport Fishing Program are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Neshoba County Lake on Saturday, June 8. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. Neshoba County Lake is located just off Highway 486 on Road 1711 in Philadelphia.

2013 Mississippi Alligator Hunting Season
JACKSON – Alligator hunting applications will be accepted from June 3 – 17 for persons interested in hunting during the 2013 alligator season on public waterways. Applications are only available only on the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks (MDWFP) website, www.mdwfp.com. Applicants must be residents of Mississippi and at least 16 years of age. For 2013, there are 7 public waterway zones with 920 total available alligator hunting permits; individuals may apply for any or all zones. All applicants must provide a valid email address. All drawn applicants will be notified via email within 5 working days of the June 17 deadline.

MDWFP & the Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Coahoma County Chamber of Commerce are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Coahoma County Expo Center on Saturday, June 8. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 12 years and under. On-site registration will begin at 10:00 a.m., although pre-registration at the Chamber of Commerce office is preferred. Fishing will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Pascagoula River WMA Offers More than Hunting and Fishing
JACKSON – Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) attracts outdoor enthusiasts from across Mississippi and surrounding states. The Pascagoula River, its tributaries, oxbow lakes, and over 35,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities for visitors to the WMA. In addition to hunting and fishing, visitors can enjoy canoeing, hiking, bird watching, or a family picnic on a sandbar.

Access Improvements Planned for Charles Ray Nix WMA
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has plans to repair and improve access at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Panola County. Work will include stabilizing a number of creek crossings, replacing culverts, repairing sections of WMA roads, and making parking area improvements.

MDWFP & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Sardis Lake to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Sardis Lake, and the First Security Bank of Batesville are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Cypress Point Recreation Area at Sardis Lower Lake on Saturday, June 1st. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. To reach the Cypress Point Recreation Area take the North Batesville exit at I-55 and proceed East on Highway 35.

History of Ford’s Well
JACKSON - The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a program on the history of Enid Lake on June 1 at 2 p.m. The “History of Ford’s Well” will focus on an area located on the south side of Enid Lake. Ford's Well was dug in 1898 and became popular in the early 1900s because of the high mineral content of its water which was touted as a cure for many ailments. Visitors enjoy the area today as they dig into the past and enjoy recreational opportunities like the Spyglass Hill horseback trail.

June 1-2 Designated as Free Fishing Weekend in Mississippi
JACKSON—Each year the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) designates the first weekend in June as “Free Fishing Weekend” in Mississippi. On June 1-2, 2013, any person may sport fish without a fishing license or a state lake fishing or boating permit.

Public Access Improvements at O’Keefe WMA
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is continuing improvements to access roads at O’Keefe Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located near Webb in Quitman and Tallahatchie counties. Road improvements began last summer, but were not completed due to weather conditions. MDWFP strives to provide adequate public access on state owned WMAs.

Mississippians Urged to Wear Life Jacket as Part of Safe, Responsible Boating
JACKSON— As the weather warms up, families and friends gather together to enjoy the outdoors on the water – boating, fishing, jet skiing, and more. It is important to remember the safety precautions to take during all of these recreational water activities.

MDWFP & The Seth Harris Cancer Foundation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and The Seth Harris Cancer Foundation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Lake Claude Bennett on Saturday, May 25. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:00 a.m. Lake Claude Bennett is located south of Highway 18 on Highway 503 near Rose Hill.

Eagle Lake receives Florida-strain Largemouth Bass
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked 120,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into Eagle Lake on May 15. The bass were reared at MDWFP’s Turcotte Fish Hatchery near Canton. Eagle Lake is a 4,700-acre oxbow lake in Warren County that is widely known for excellent bass, crappie, and bream fishing.

Campground Renovation Upcoming at Neshoba County Lake
JACKSON – One of Mississippi’s most popular fishing destinations is about to get a facelift. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will be upgrading Neshoba County Lake’s campground. The project is scheduled to start in mid May, and includes 22 sites that provide water, sewer, and 100 amp electrical services. In addition, a new bathhouse will be constructed to accommodate campers. The project is expected to be completed by late November.

Northeast Mississippi Florida Largemouth Bass Stockings
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked over 100,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into Bay Springs Lake and Lock C on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and Lake Lamar Bruce. The fish were reared at MDWFP’s Turcotte Fish Hatchery near Canton. Bay Springs and Lock C are popular bass fishing destinations among tournament and recreational anglers. Lake Lamar Bruce is still under renovation and closed to the public. It is scheduled to open in 2015 which will allow the bass to establish a strong population. “Florida-strain largemouth bass are typically more aggressive and grow larger than northern-strain largemouth bass” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. “The goal of the Florida-strain bass stockings is to help improve fishing quality.”

New Directors of Conservation Programs, Wildlife Bureau at MDWFP
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently made changes in two of its leadership positions within the agency. Ed Penny will become Director of Conservation Programs, and Chad Dacus will become Wildlife Bureau Director. Penny, who previously served as Wildlife Bureau Director and Waterfowl Program Coordinator, is now responsible for implementing the agency’s strategic plan and long-term conservation goals. Additionally, Penny will oversee the agency’s outreach and education efforts, and will also serve as liaison with its many natural resource partners.

Haley Haygood of Franklin County Awarded Archery Scholarship
Jackson - Franklin County High School’s Haley Haygood is the first competitor from the Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) Program to sign a college scholarship in the sport. Haygood recently signed an academic and archery scholarship with the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. The University of the Cumberlands is the first university in the country to offer athletic scholarships in the sport of archery.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Harrison County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop at the Lyman Community Center on Highway 49 in Gulfport. The workshop will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14. This workshop will allow biologists and private pond owners the opportunity to discuss management options to improve fish populations and habitat,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Jeremy McCain. “We talk to people each year that want to manage their ponds effectively and this is a great way for us to provide how-to information that can help pond owners achieve their goals.”

Visitor Education Center (VEC) at Enid Lake to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the VEC adjacent to Enid Lake on Saturday, May 18. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:00 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear, catfish bait, and stringers.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Lauderdale County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Lauderdale County. The workshop will be held at the East Mississippi Electric Power Association Office located at 2128 Highway 39 North in Meridian on Thursday, May 16, at 6:00 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond construction, fish stocking, vegetation control, fertilization, fish harvest, and more. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the MDWFP regional office at (601) 859-3421.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Oktibbeha County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Oktibbeha County. The workshop will be held in the Oktibbeha County Extension Office located at 106 Felix Long Drive in Starkville on Tuesday, May 14, at 6:00 p.m. Topics that will be covered include pond construction, fish stocking, vegetation control, fertilization, fish harvest, and more. A question-and-answer period will also allow pond owners to receive advice on specific problems they are experiencing with their ponds. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Oktibbeha County Extension Office at (662) 323-5916.

MDWFP and the Olive Branch Parks and Recreation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at George M. Harrison Municipal Park
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Olive Branch Parks and Recreation Department are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the George M. Harrison Municipal Park (Soccer Complex) on Saturday, May 18. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. The George M. Harrison Municipal Park is located at the intersection of 8700 Church Road and Highway 305.

Monster Fish Caught in the Upper Pearl River
JACKSON – Two local commercial fishermen caught one of the biggest fish of their fishing careers this weekend on the upper Pearl River in Leake County. Fishermen Michael Pigg and Tony Foster were checking their hoopnets on Sunday, May 5, when an extraordinarily large Smallmouth Buffalo was caught. The fish was 48 inches long and weighed 81.5 pounds. This may not be the only big buffalo that is caught this spring. According to Mr. Pigg, “The Smallmouth Buffalo are spawning, and big fish are in the same area. We may catch an even bigger one.”

MDWFP and the City of Carthage to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the City of Carthage are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at McMillan Park pond on Saturday, May 18. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. McMillan Park is located on Highway 16 in Carthage.

Bream Fishing Heating Up in Northeast Mississippi (1)
JACKSON –The bream bite has started to turn on. “Bream begin to move into their shallow spawning locations when the water temperature approaches 70 degrees. That’s where most lakes in this region are now.” said Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologist Tyler Stubbs. Bream nest in colonies of circular depressions in shallow water when they spawn. These areas resemble a honeycomb, making bream beds easy to find. “Most anglers are catching bream with crickets or redworms on the bottom or under a cork in 2 to 6 feet of water.” continued Stubbs.

MDWFP to Honor Fallen Conservation Officers
JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), on May 16, will honor and remember those conservation officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind. An Officer’s Memorial Service will be held at 9:00 a.m. at the MDWFP main office located at 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS.

2013 Youth Art Contest
JACKSON - Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2013 North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Youth Art Contest. Each student must submit a portfolio that includes artwork and an entry form to the Visitor Education Center (VEC). The deadline for entries is May 15, 2013.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Jones County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Sandersville at the Sandersville Community Center on Thursday, May 9 at 6:00 p.m. “This workshop will allow biologists and private pond owners the opportunity to discuss management options to improve fish populations and habitat,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Jeremy McCain. “We talk to people each year that want to manage their ponds effectively and this is a great way for us to provide how-to information that can help pond owners achieve their goals.”

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Carroll County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Carroll County. The workshop will be held at the Carroll County Extension Office at 105B Washington Street in Carrollton on Tuesday, May 7, at 6:00 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 North Region Office at (662) 840-5172.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Coahoma County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop at the Coahoma County Extension office in Clarksdale at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2013. “This free workshop is designed to better equip pond owners and future pond owners to maximize the potential of their ponds,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Nathan Aycock. “Whether it’s how to control algae, how to improve the fishing, or anything in between, we want to help you enjoy your pond as much as possible.”

MDWFP and the U.S.D.A. Forest Service to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the U.S.D.A. Forest Service are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Gator Pond on the Chickasawhay Wildlife Management Area southeast of Laurel on Saturday, May 11, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under, and registration begins at 9:00 a.m.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Pike County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Pike County at the MDWFP South Region office in Magnolia on Tuesday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, fish harvest, vegetation control, and more. 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.

Trace State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Trace State Park in Belden on Saturday, May 11, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

MDWFP Commission Approves Alligator Hunting Seasons for 2013
JACKSON – On April 18, 2013, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks finalized regulations for the 2013 Mississippi alligator hunting seasons on public waters and private lands. The public waters season will expand this year to include more opportunities on specific public waterways statewide. A total of 920 lottery-based permits will be available within 7 hunting zones across the state for the 10-day season which runs from August 30 – September 9. Applications for permits can be purchased electronically at www.mdwfp.com/draws from June 3 – 17. Applicants must be residents of Mississippi and at least 16 years of age. Drawn applicants must attend a mandatory training course. During the 2012 public waters season, more than 4,100 Mississippi residents submitted applications for the 810 available permits, and 513 alligators were harvested.

Handgrabbing Season Opens May 1
JACKSON – A tradition unlike any other begins May 1. Grabbling, handgrabbing, handfishing, or noodling, whatever you call it, catching catfish with your hands is a popular way of fishing for a lot of Mississippians. The season opens May 1 and runs through July 15.

2013 - 2014 Hunting Season Rules Proposed
JACKSON – Staff from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks presented proposed rules for the 2013-14 hunting season to the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at its monthly public meeting on April 17. These proposed rules included white-tailed deer, turkey, and small game hunting seasons, as well as changes to Wildlife Management Area rules.

Camp Fish to be held at Turcotte Education Center
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting Camp Fish 2013 at the Turcotte Education Center in Madison County. The camp will be held June 17-20 and is open to kids ages 11 to 15. The camp’s purpose is to introduce Mississippi’s youth to fisheries conservation, management, and sport fishing.

Legion State Park to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Legion State Park, Lake Toppasha in Louisville, MS on Saturday, May 4, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under, and registration begins at 7:00 a.m.

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. Cogongrass is not only an invasive plant species, but it has no wildlife value. This grass can be easily identified by its white fluffy flowers and seed head, which makes spring time the optimal season for locating cogongrass areas. These areas of cogongrass are targeted for eradication across Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Mississippi.

MDWFP and City of Byram host Youth Fishing Day at Lake Dockery
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the City of Byram will host a youth fishing day at Lake Dockery on Saturday, May 4, from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fishing will be open to youth ages 15 and under that are accompanied by an adult with a valid Mississippi fishing license.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Desoto County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Desoto County. The workshop will be held at the Hernando Public Library at 370 W Commerce Street (see http://www.firstregional.org/page7.html for a map) on Saturday, April 27 at 10:00 a.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 North Region Office at (662) 840-5172.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Lincoln County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop in Lincoln County. The workshop will be held at the Lincoln County Civic Center multi-purpose building located at 1096 Belt Line Dr. NE in Brookhaven on Thursday, April 25 at 6:00 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 Lincoln County Extension office at (601) 835-3460.

MDWFP & US Forest Service to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Clear Springs Recreation Area
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the US Forest Service are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Clear Springs Recreation Area on Saturday, April 27, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:00 a.m. The Clear Springs Recreation Area is part of the Homochitto National Forest and is located on Highway 84, just west of Meadville, MS.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Washington County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a pond management workshop at the Washington County Extension office in Greenville. The workshop will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2013. “This free workshop is designed to better equip pond owners and future pond owners to maximize the potential of their ponds,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Nathan Aycock. “Whether it’s how to control algae, how to improve the fishing, or anything in between, we want to help you enjoy your pond as much as possible.”

MDWFP & Meridian Parks and Recreation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Meridian Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Q.B. Sykes pond on Saturday, April 27, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The Q.B. Sykes pond is located at the Q.B. Sykes Park in Meridian.

Wildlife Habitat Projects Continue on Copiah County WMA
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) personnel have been conducting prescribed burns on selected areas of Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA) since early February. The seasonal, controlled use of fire is an essential practice to enhance and maintain habitat for numerous game and non-game species of wildlife. Prescribed burning reduces competition from undesirable woody plant species, reduces the potential of wildfire, reduces the disease risk for some tree species, and promotes the growth of desirable herbaceous vegetation favored by many wildlife species.

NMFH Tree ID Program
The Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a Tree Identification program on Saturday, April 27th at 2:00 p.m.

2013 Wild Turkey Report Available Online
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks just released the 2013 version of its Wild Turkey Program report. The annual report, entitled “Spittin’ and Drummin’,” contains a wealth of information about Mississippi’s wild turkey resource and is available in digital format and may be downloaded on the MDWFP website. Turkey hunters will find much of the information available in report to be a valuable resource in understanding regional and statewide trends in turkey numbers, gobbling activity, habitat management, WMA hunting opportunities, and much more. Additionally, the annual newsletter of the Mississippi Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Magnolia State Turkey Talk, is included within “Spittin’ and Drummin’.”

Project WET Teacher Workshop
The Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host the “WET! Water Education for Teachers”workshop provided by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science. This all-day event will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Deadline for registration is April 26, 2013.

2012 MDWFP Deer Report Now Available Online
JACKSON - The 2012 Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Deer Report is now available online at www.mdwfp.com\deer. The purpose of the annual report is to consolidate all deer-related data and to present it in a way that is useful for managers and hunters. The backbone of the Report is the data collected by thousands of Magnolia State hunters that participate in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP).

Jackson Optimist Club Donates $1,000 to Fishing Rodeo Program
The Jackson Optimist Club held true to its motto “Friend of Youth” by donating $1,000 to the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. The donation will be used by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fishing Rodeo Program which introduces approximately 7,000 youth to fishing each year.

MDWFP to Dedicate Facilities at Roosevelt State Park
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will hold a dedication ceremony on Thursday, April 18, at 2 p.m. at Roosevelt State Park near Morton.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Monroe County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Monroe County. The workshop will be held in the Monroe County Extension Office located at 517 Highway 145 N., Suite 1, Aberdeen, MS 39730 on Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question and answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Monroe County Extension Office at (662) 369-4951.

MDWFP To Host “Lure You to the Lake” at Elvis Presley Lake
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Tupelo Parks and Recreation are hosting a free family fishing day at Elvis Presley Lake on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

MDWFP & Pearl Parks and Recreation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Bright Park Pond
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and City of Pearl Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Bright Park pond on Saturday, April 6, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth ages 15 and under, and registration begins at 1:00 p.m. Bright Park is located at 3705 Flynn Drive, Pearl, MS.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Yazoo County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Yazoo County on April 4 at 6 p.m. The workshop will be held at the MSU Extension Service office on the third floor of the old Chamber of Commerce building located downtown between Bank Plus and the Health Department. The physical address for the office is 212 East Broadway St.

Fascinated with Fossils
The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a Fascinated with Fossils program on Saturday, April 6th at 2:00 p.m.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop at Delta State University
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. The workshop will be held in room 105 of Caylor Hall at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. “This free workshop is designed to better equip pond owners and future pond owners to maximize the potential of their ponds,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Nathan Aycock.

MDWFP & Pearl Parks and Recreation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Bright Park Pond
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Pearl Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Bright Park pond on Saturday, April 6, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years of age and under, and registration begins at 1:00 p.m. Bright Park is located at 3705 Flynn Drive, Pearl, MS.

Excellent Turkey Hunting on North Mississippi Wildlife Management Areas
JACKSON – Magnolia State turkey hunters are fortunate to have a wealth of excellent public land turkey hunting opportunities on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in North Mississippi. Hunters that wish to hunt on WMAs are urged to check the area-specific regulations before going afield. Season dates and bag limits on some WMAs may differ from the statewide framework. “The hunting can be very good on some of these WMAs during the middle and latter portions of the season when hunting pressure tends to be lower,” noted MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Biologist Adam Butler.

MDWFP Pond Management Workshop
JACKSON - The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a Pond Management Workshop on Saturday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m.

Spring Turkey Season Underway on East Central WMAs
JACKSON – The 2013 spring turkey season opened on March 15 and will run through May 1. Many Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across the state offer excellent spring turkey hunting opportunities; however, hunting regulations on some WMAs may differ. For example, within the Bienville National Forest, Bienville, Caney Creek, and Tallahala WMAs have permitted draw-only hunts from March 15 until March 28. Beginning March 29 until May 1, these WMAs are open for non-permitted hunts.

MDWFP Encourages Efforts to Control Wild Hogs
JACKSON – Wild hog populations are threatening native wildlife habitats, timber, agriculture, water quality, roads, and levees not only in Mississippi, but all across the United States. Wild hogs are not native to North America and are classified as a “nuisance animal” in Mississippi by state law. Hog populations are rapidly expanding because of their prolific reproductive potential, lack of natural predators, and their ability to survive in virtually any type of habitat. Populations have also expanded throughout the United States by illegal transport and release into the wild. To respond to the severe problems created by wild hog populations, many states, including Mississippi, have passed laws making it illegal to import or transport live wild hogs and to release them into the wild. Anyone convicted of releasing wild hogs in Mississippi may be fined up to $5,000 and spend up to 5 days in jail.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Tippah County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Tippah County. The workshop will be held at the Tippah County Extension Office located at 10791B Hwy 15 South in Ripley, MS on Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Tippah County Extension Office at (662) 837-8184.

MDWFP & Canton Parks and Recreation to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Turcotte Ponds
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and Canton Parks and Recreation are hosting a youth fishing rodeo at the Turcotte Education Center Fishing Rodeo ponds on Saturday, March 30, 2013. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years of age and under, and registration begins at 7:00 a.m. The Education Center is located on Highway 43 just east of the Natchez Trace on Ross Barnett Reservoir.

Live Webcam Offers Rare Glimpse into Black Bear Den
JACKSON – Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), working in conjunction with researchers from Mississippi State University, recently completed their black bear den checks for 2013. This year’s den checks revealed two separate litters of cubs on private land in Bolivar County. A special video camera was installed at one of the dens which will allow the public a live peek at the life of a family of bears in Mississippi. “This is a very unique opportunity for people to witness something that most would never get to see in their lifetime,” says Brad Young, MDWFP Black Bear Program Leader. “To be able to spend time in the den of a black bear is obviously a rarity no matter where you live.”

Road Maintenance on Pascagoula River WMA to Begin as Flood Waters Recede
JACKSON – As many local citizens are aware, recent heavy rains have resulted in the flooding of the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) for much of the past two months. Many WMA roads were damaged and will need to be repaired when the water recedes. In the upcoming weeks, WMA personnel will be assessing the damage and begin making repairs.

Rohnke Named 2012 MWF Conservation Educator of the Year
Jackson – Angel Rohnke, Assistant Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science, was recently named the 2012 Conservation Educator of the Year at the Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s (MWF) 53rd Mississippi Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet. The awards program recognizes and honors those whose achievements in natural resource conservation deserve statewide recognition. “Angel Rohnke is a well respected leader in Mississippi’s conservation community and is the go-to person when anyone in the conservation and natural resources education arena needs help with a special project or event,” said MWF President Rick Dillard.

Museum to Host 13th Annual NatureFEST on April 6, 2013
Museum to Host 13th Annual NatureFEST on April 6, 2013 Jackson – Now in its thirteenth year, “NatureFEST” will get visitors of all ages into the swing of spring on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science. “NatureFEST is a festival, a nature outing, and a fascinating Museum trip, all wrapped into one exciting day,” explains education coordinator Megan Fedrick. Visitors can:

Fish Predators Program
JACKSON - The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host the Fish Predators program on Saturday, March 16th at 2:00 PM.

Youth Turkey Hunting Opportunities Abound on Public Land
JACKSON – This week, many of Mississippi’s turkey hunters are planning opportunities to introduce youth to the joys of hunting in the spring woods. A common question for many hunters is whether the public lands they frequent during the regular season are also open during the youth season. Specifically, there is some confusion due to the wording in the Mississippi Outdoor Digest that states that the youth turkey season occurs on private lands and “authorized state and federal public lands”. Many hunters wonder which state and federal lands are “authorized,” and some hunters fear that taking young hunters for an outing on their favorite National Forest may place them on the wrong side of the law.

Youth Turkey Hunting Opportunities Abound on Public Land (1)
JACKSON – This week, many of Mississippi’s turkey hunters are planning opportunities to introduce youth to the joys of hunting in the spring woods. A common question for many hunters is whether the public lands they frequent during the regular season are also open during the youth season. Specifically, there is some confusion due to the wording in the Mississippi Outdoor Digest that states that the youth turkey season occurs on private lands and “authorized state and federal public lands”. Many hunters wonder which state and federal lands are “authorized,” and some hunters fear that taking young hunters for an outing on their favorite National Forest may place them on the wrong side of the law.

MDWFP Asks Turkey Hunters for Help in Data Collection
Jackson – Each year the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) relies on a dedicated group of turkey hunters to participate in the Spring Gobbler Hunting Survey (SGHS). During the SGHS, hunters become the agency’s eyes and ears in surveying the state’s wild turkey population. These individuals record all that they see, hear, and harvest during their springtime hunts, and provide this information to MDWFP wildlife biologists. Since 1996, the SGHS has provided the MDWFP with a comprehensive overview of the well-being of Mississippi’s turkey flock, and helps biologists better understand trends in turkey abundance, gobbling activity, hunter effort, harvest rates, age structure, and the characteristics of harvested birds.

Spring Turkey Season Opens March 15th
JACKSON – It’s time for Mississippi’s turkey hunters to practice their yelping and dust off their shotgun, because the spring turkey season will open March 15th and runs through May 1st. Opportunities to pursue spring gobblers are plentiful across the Magnolia State, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is anticipating that hunting success should be good in 2013. “Turkey populations are up across most of the state,” reported Dave Godwin, MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Coordinator. “Much of Mississippi experienced good hatches in 2 of the last 3 years, so hunters should not have any trouble interacting with birds this spring,” continued Godwin.

2014 Sportsman License and Prints Available
Jackson - With turkeys gobbling and fish biting, now is a great time to be outdoors in Mississippi.

2013 Fishing Forecast for Mississippi Delta Lakes
Jackson – As the days become longer and temperatures climb, springtime months are some of the best times of the year to catch fish. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing in the Mississippi Delta this upcoming year. Many oxbows of the Mississippi River suffered from low water during the majority of 2012 which severely limited access, but recent rains and a rising Mississippi River have re-filled most lakes, including hot spots such as Lake Ferguson and Lake Beulah, which should improve the fishing and also lead to a good spawn this spring.

MDWFP to Host Pond Management Workshop in Madison County
Jackson - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a pond management workshop in Madison County. The workshop will be held in the Hunter Education Building at the MDWFP Regional Office located at 506 Hwy 43 South near Canton, MS on Tuesday, March 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 regional office at (601) 859-3421.

Fishing 2013: Flood Control Reservoirs
Jackson - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists predict mixed fishing success in 2013 on the Corps of Engineers’ flood control reservoirs (Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada lakes). These are some of the best crappie waters in the nation, supporting about 1.5 million hours of fishing yearly.

Youth Hunters Get First Shot At Spring Turkey Season
Jackson – The 2013 youth spring turkey season will begin on private lands and authorized state and federal lands on Friday, March 8th. This special season coincides with spring break for many of Mississippi’s school systems, and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce young hunters to the thrill of pursuing springtime gobblers.

Sardis Lake Anglers’ Comments Spawn Revised Crappie Regulations
Jackson – On February 11, 2013, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks passed Public Notice F18-3424 which regulates sport fishing methods, creel, and length limits. New black bass regulations were set for: Pickwick Lake – 15-inch minimum size limit; Davis Lake – 18 to 22-inch slot limit, one fish may be over 22 inches; Jeff Davis Lake – 16 to 20-inch slot limit, one fish may be over 20 inches, 15 fish daily creel limit; and Moon Lake – 5 fish daily creel limit.

2013 Fishing Forecast for Northeast Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are excited about the upcoming fishing season in Northeast Mississippi. Fall 2012 population sampling on our state lakes revealed high catch rates of small bass in Elvis Presley Lake, Tippah County Lake, Lake Monroe, and Tombigbee State Park. “To help promote a healthier bass population, creel limits on bass remain at 30 fish per day to encourage folks to harvest these smaller bass” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. “Quality crappie and bream populations were also seen at these lakes, especially in Lake Monroe,” said Stubbs. Anglers targeting catfish in our state lakes should look at Tippah County Lake or Elvis Presley Lake, as both lakes boast healthy populations of quality sized catfish.

2013 Fishing Forecast for East Central Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are predicting a banner year for fishing during the upcoming fishing season in East Central Mississippi. Bass anglers who like to catch a lot of 1 to 2 pound fish should travel to Prentiss Walker Lake, Simpson County Lake or Lake Claude Bennett. During fall 2012 population sampling, small bass were abundant in these lakes. If larger bass are your target then fish at Neshoba County Lake or Ross Barnett Reservoir. Neshoba County Lake has produced many bass over 10 pounds the last few years and biologists expect this to continue. At Ross Barnett Reservoir, the bass are in great shape. According to MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Larry Bull, “The bass we saw this fall on the Reservoir are the fattest and healthiest I’ve seen in the last 10 years. We picked up quite a few bass over 5 pounds, and the Twin Sisters area produced three bass over 6 pounds and two over 5 pounds in one sample”.

Reforestation Project at Mahannah WMA
JACKSON - After recent changes in farming operations at Mahannah Wildlife Management Area (WMA), a reforestation plan has been developed and implemented to improve wildlife habitat on less-desirable farm lands. Approximately 100 hundred acres of poorly drained and marginal farm land at Mahannah WMA has recently been reforested with a mixture of bottomland hardwoods species.

MDWFP Android App
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks (MDWFP) is pleased to announce the release of their Hunting and Fishing Android Application. The Android version of the wildly popular MDWFP iPhone application contains a variety of useful tools and information for Mississippi hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts

Dr. Vilella to Present Results of Waterbirds Study on March 5, 2013
Jackson– The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science continues the “First Tuesday Lecture Series” on March 5, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Rotwein Theater. Dr. Francisco Vilella will present a lecture entitled "Resident and Neotropical Migrant Bird Communities of the Savanna Wetlands of the Orinoco River Basin, South America: Ecology and Conservation".

Shotgun Classes Available
JACKSON – The MDWFP Education and Outreach Department will continue to offer Intermediate and Advanced Shotgunning classes to our Mississippi hunters through the winter months at the Turcotte Education Center as well as other selected venues. The classes feature insights into connecting with moving targets in the field. Be sure to take advantage of these free of charge instructional gatherings which address subject matter that is only taught by professionals for fees in other states. Classes are held on Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. and run until approximately 12:30 p.m. Consult the MDWFP website for one that fits your schedule.

Museum to Host 10th Annual Fossil Road Show
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 and get expert opinions about their ages and identities from our team of scientists at the 10th Annual Fossil Road Show on Saturday, March 2 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Mississippi Marksmanship Program Goes Mobile
Jackson - The Mississippi Marksmanship Program is continuing its efforts to bring top notch shotgun and rifle shooting education to our state’s resident hunters. Many of our citizens did not have an opportunity to hunt when growing up due to their home in a city or because their parents worked long hours and did not have the opportunity to go hunting with them. The very same shooting lessons that were taught to youth years ago are now being offered to those who did not have the opportunity to experience Mississippi’s outdoors when young.

2013 Fishing Forecast for Southeast Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are anticipating a productive 2013 fishing season. Winter flooding of the Pascagoula River and associated oxbow lakes should bode well for anglers.

2013 Fishing Forecast for Southwest Mississippi
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are looking forward to the upcoming fishing season. “Fishing has been awesome on many of our lakes this past fall and we expect that to continue throughout the spring,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Jerry Brown. One example is Eagle Lake where crappie, bream, and bass anglers have done really well. “We’ve seen an improved fishery at Eagle Lake following the high water in 2011, plus MDWFP has been stocking this lake to help maintain an abundant sport fish population,” Brown added.

Cleveland Hunter Sentenced For Migratory Bird Violations
OXFORD, Miss. Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, Luis Santiago, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Chief of Law Enforcement Steve Adcock announced that:

Late Season Birding Opportunities at Trim Cane WMA
JACKSON – Waterfowl hunting season may have ended, but great birding opportunities are still available on Trim Cane Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Trim Cane WMA is located approximately 3 miles North of Starkville off Hwy 389, and has approximately 300 acres of wetland habitat for you to come and explore.

Wildlife Habitat Projects on South Mississippi WMAs Begin In February
JACKSON – As deer season comes to an end each year in South Mississippi, the season for wildlife habitat improvements is beginning. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) personnel will start prescribed burning on selected areas of state-owned WMAs in early February. The seasonal, controlled use of fire is essential to enhancing and maintaining habitat for numerous game and non-game species of wildlife. Prescribed burning reduces competition from undesirable woody plant species, reduces potential of wildfire, reduces disease risk for longleaf pine seedlings, and promotes growth of desirable herbaceous vegetation favorable to many wildlife species.

Neshoba County Lake Expected to Produce More Lunker Bass in 2013
JACKSON - During the past several years, Neshoba County Lake has been one of the most productive big bass lakes in the State, producing numerous bass over 10 pounds and two bass over 14 pounds. Fisheries biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) are predicting another great year during 2013. According to MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Larry Bull, “The bass were stocked in 2005, and we usually see the catch of big bass peak 8 to 10 years after a lake is drained and restocked.” In addition to the length of time since restocking, the bass population is managed with a slot limit (all bass must be released between 16 and 20 inches, with only 1 bass allowed over 20 inches) that has kept the lake from becoming overpopulated with small, stunted bass.

MDWFP continues fish stocking efforts on Deer Creek
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks hatchery personnel stocked 30,000 bluegill sunfish fingerlings in Deer Creek at Leland, MS, on January 30, 2013. This fish stocking addresses the fish kill that occurred during the summer of 2011. “Low oxygen and water levels contributed to a major fish kill in July of 2011, Deer Creek lost thousands of fish,” says Delta fisheries biologist Nathan Aycock. “Once water levels returned to normal, we found very low numbers of sport fish in the areas where the fish kill occurred.”

Farmer Donates Blue Catfish to Assist in Recovery Effort in Lower Pearl River
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) staff accompanied Mr. Charlie Hogue of Warmwater Pond Management, Inc. to the Pearl River near The Stennis Space Center where he released about 1,100 harvestable-sized blue catfish on January 29. These fish were donated by Mr. Chat Phillips of Phillips Brothers Farms in Yazoo City.

Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) announces new location for 2013 Mississippi Archery State Championship
Jackson – Since 2008 the AIMS State Championships has been held in Jackson at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Archery Center. This event has enjoyed great participation by archers from over 35 counties.

Small Game Hunting Opportunities at O’Keefe WMA
Jackson - February is an excellent time to get out and enjoy small game hunting, and O’Keefe Wildlife Management Area (WMA) offers great opportunities for late season squirrel hunting. Located near Lambert, in Quitman County, O’Keefe WMA is 5,914 acres in size and is one of the largest remaining tracts of contiguous bottomland hardwood forest in the Mississippi Delta.

Prescribed Fire Workshop at Black Prairie WMA on March 2
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, in cooperation with the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council (MPFC), will host a prescribed burning workshop at Black Prairie Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Lowndes County on Saturday, March 2, 2013. The MPFC partnership exists to promote the safe and legal use of prescribed burning for forest and wildlife management among private landowners and is comprised of federal, state, private organizations, and landowners.

Crappie Tracking at Enid Lake
JACKSON - The fourth year of the cooperative crappie tracking project conducted by the University of Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is starting up again on Enid Lake. The goal is to learn more about spawning areas of crappie in our local reservoirs.

There’s Still Time to Take Advantage of Small Game Seasons
JACKSON - With deer season coming to an end in many parts of Mississippi, and turkey season still several weeks away, there remains a wealth of available hunting opportunities. Late winter is a great time to take advantage of the state’s small game seasons and experience just how much fun small game hunting can be. There are many devoted small game hunters who are well aware of these opportunities, but many other sportsmen often forget about the joys of pursuing late-season squirrels and rabbits. Statewide squirrel and rabbit seasons remain open until February 28, 2013, and quail season remains open until March 2, 2013.

Prescribed Fire Workshop at Marion County WMA on February 16
JACKSON - The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, in cooperation with the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council (MPFC), will host a prescribed burning workshop at Marion County Wildlife Management Area near Columbia, MS on Saturday, February 16, 2013. The MPFC partnership exists to promote the safe and legal use of prescribed burning for forest and wildlife management among private landowners and is comprised of federal, state, private organizations, and landowners.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend: February 2 – February 3
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) would like to remind everyone that all Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) with waterfowl hunting opportunity will be open for the youth waterfowl hunting weekend on February 2 – 3, 2013. Adult hunters are encouraged to take a youth (under the age of 16) and introduce them to the rich heritage of waterfowl hunting.

2013 Youth Art Contest
Students across Mississippi are invited to get outdoors and participate in the 2013 North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Youth Art Contest. Each student must submit a portfolio including entry form and artwork to the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (NMFH VEC) by May 15, 2013.

White-tailed Deer Season Still Going Strong in Southeast Mississippi
While the deer hunting season in most of Mississippi comes to an end January 31st, that’s not the case for Southeast Mississippi hunters. Hunters in the Southeast Deer Management Zone are still able to hunt February 1-15 during open primitive weapon, archery, crossbow, and youth gun seasons.

Prescribed Burning About to Begin in North Region WMAs
Beginning in early February, prescribed burning will begin on designated areas on Charles Ray Nix, Sardis Waterfowl, Hell Creek, Divide Section, and Canal Section Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Prescribed burning conducted by the U.S. Forest Service may also take place on portions of Chickasaw and Upper Sardis WMAs. The seasonal, controlled use of fire is essential to enhancing and maintaining habitat for numerous game and non-game species of wildlife. Use of prescribed fire during late winter and early spring stimulates the growth of vegetation that serves as both food and cover for native wildlife while minimizing potential damage to timber.

MDWFP and MSU to host Gamebird Workshops
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Mississippi State University (MSU) will host two workshops to teach participants how to better manage their land for bobwhite quail and wild turkeys. The one-day workshops will be held March 1, 2013 at Thompson Hall on the MSU Campus and March 8, 2013 at the Forrest County Extension Office in Hattiesburg. Topics to be covered include turkey and quail biology, habitat management, and the incorporation of wildlife management into profitable forestry and agricultural practices. Landowners will also learn about the impacts of predation on gamebird populations as well as the answers to commonly asked questions about pen-raised quail, supplemental feeding, food plots, and state laws that pertain to feeding.

Play in the Rain(forest) at the Rainforest Adventure Exhibit!
Jackson, MS … Visit the Rainforest Adventure exhibit from January 26 – May 12, 2013 at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science. “Rainforest Adventure is a multisensory expedition to the tropical rainforests of the world,” explains Megan Fedrick, education coordinator. The exhibit highlights the challenges facing these unique ecological wonders. Visitors are introduced to scientists and the ways they study rainforests. Using costumes and props, children role-play as research assistants on a series of problem-solving adventures.

Fishing regulation changes proposed for 2013
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced several proposed regulation changes for the upcoming fishing season.

Regulation change proposed for Sardis Lake
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a proposal to change crappie length and bag limits on Sardis Lake. The proposal consists of lowering the minimum size crappie anglers can keepfrom 12 inches to 10 inches, as well as reducing the bag limit from 20 to 15 fish per angler. In addition, boats with 3 or more anglers will be able to keep 40 crappie per boat versus the current boat limit of 50.

Late Primitive Weapon and Archery Season for Deer Opens January 18th
JACKSON – Archery/Primitive Weapon Season for deer opens Friday, January 18th and runs through Thursday, January 31st in all deer zones. Antlerless deer and zone legal bucks are eligible for harvest in the Hill and Delta Zones on both private and open public land. In the Southeast Zone antlerless deer and zone legal bucks are eligible for harvest on private lands, and only legal bucks can be harvested on open public land. Open public lands may include National Forests and Corps of Engineers lands that have statewide seasons without special regulations.

“Got Fish?” Set for January 26th at MS Museum of Natural Science
Jackson, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science will host the annual “Got FISH?” fishing seminar program, moderated by “Mississippi Outdoors” TV show co-host Randy Newell, on January 26, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The “Got Fish?” event is included in the regular Museum admission fee. Magnolia Crappie Club members will discuss lure selection and knot tying. Bring the family to experience SCUBA divers feeding the fish in the aquariums.

Wildlife Management Area Turkey Hunting Applications Available Online January 15th
JACKSON – Beginning January 15th , MDWFP will begin accepting applications for turkey hunting on selected Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Individuals may apply online at www.mdwfp.com, and the application deadline is February 15th. Permitted turkey hunts were implemented to provide a quality turkey hunting experience and are available on 16 WMAs. There will be a charge of $5 for each permit application; these proceeds contribute to managing WMAs. Applicants for the Sardis Waterfowl WMA, Ward Bayou WMA, Theodore Mars WMA, and Natchez State Park turkey hunts must be 15 years of age or younger.

Family Fun Science Night at the Museum of Natural Science
JACKSON – Join us on January 17th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a night of hands-on science fun at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science! “This event was created to provide an exciting time for families to experience science fun,” explains Libby Hartfield, museum director. Explore a touch tank. Interact with live animals. Watch a diver feed the fish at 7 p.m.

MDWFP Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has joined together once again with Mississippi State University, Delta Waterfowl, Delta Wildlife, and Ducks Unlimited to host the MDWFP 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.

2013 Youth Participation Initiative Squirrel Hunt
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is partnering with the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host seven youth squirrel hunts throughout Mississippi on Saturday, February 9, 2013.

Hunting Opportunities Abound at Charles Ray Nix WMA
JACKSON - January is an excellent month for archery, youth, and rabbit hunters at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Located a few miles west of Sardis in north Mississippi, this WMA offers approximately 4,000 acres of grassland and woodland habitat.

MDWFP December Waterfowl Aerial Survey Complete
JACKSON – MDWFP recently completed the December 2012 Aerial Waterfowl Survey. Funded through a partnership with Delta Wildlife, MDWFP conducts these surveys several times each winter to estimate wintering waterfowl abundance. Mallards, northern shovelers, and gadwalls were the most frequently observed species. When compared to previous surveys, December 2012 duck estimates and available flooded habitat were relatively low. Mallards (122,779) and other dabblers (176,950) followed the same trend, with estimates below the past 4-year averages for this time of year. Mild winter weather conditions and the lack of flooded habitat most likely contributed to these relatively low estimates. However, the estimate of diving ducks (171,542) was greater than the recent 4-year average for December.

Lake Lamar Bruce Fish Stocked
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks (MDWFP), in cooperation with the Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery, stocked approximately 150,000 bluegill and redear sunfish and 4,000 channel catfish into Lake Lamar Bruce on December 18, 2012.

3rd White-tailed Deer Gun Season Opens December 24
JACKSON – Mississippi’s 3rd white-tailed deer gun hunting season will open December 24th and will run through January 17th. Hunting with dogs is allowed during this season. Legal deer include either-sex on private lands and legal bucks only on open public lands. Open public lands may include National Forests and Corps of Engineers lands that have statewide seasons without special regulations. For seasons and bag limits on WildlifeManagement Areas (WMAs), please see the individual WMA regulations at www.mdwfp.com/wma.

Museum Merriment at The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
JACKSON - Make merry memories this season at the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ Museum of Natural Science! “Join us for a variety of fun activities from hands-on crafting and interactive Creature Features with live animals to unique shopping and old-fashioned holiday fun,” explains Libby Hartfield, museum director. For details please call 601-576-6000 or visit www.msnaturalscience.org. Click here for more information about the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Deer Gun Season Re-opens on December 15
JACKSON – Mississippi’s white-tailed deer hunting season with guns re-opens December 15th and runs through December 23rd. Hunting with dogs is not allowed during this season. Legal deer include either-sex on private lands and legal bucks only on open public lands. Open public lands may include National Forests and Corps of Engineers lands that have statewide seasons without special regulations. For seasons and bag limits on WildlifeManagement Areas (WMAs), please see the individual WMA regulations at www.mdwfp.com/wma.

Hunters Encouraged to “Take a Friend Hunting” This Season
JACKSON—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has again launched its “Take a Friend Hunting” campaign. The initiative is aimed at encouraging hunters to pass down the tradition of hunting by introducing someone new to the sport.

Graham Lake Road Reopens on Pascagoula River WMA
JACKSON – Graham Lake Road on the Pascagoula River WMA has reopened after being closed several weeks due to flood damage. Graham Lake is a popular oxbow lake located just north of Wade-Vancleave Road near the Pascagoula River bridge. Flooding from Hurricane Isaac caused a section of the road near the bank of the river to completely wash into the river. MDWFP temporarily closed the road until needed repairs could be completed. Just recently, contractors hired by MDWFP re-routed the existing road away from the river bank to protect it from further damage.

2012 MWFP Foundation Scholarship Awards
JACKSON - On Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation announced the winners of the 2012 MWFP Foundation Scholarship Awards. Each year the Foundation grants scholarships through an open competitive system to worthy college students majoring in fields related to Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Details for the program can be found on the Foundation website: www.foundationmwfp.com.

MDWFP Announces Winner of Lifetime Sportsman License
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) today announced the winner of its Lifetime License drawing. Bobby L. Sherman of Louin, MS, is the recipient of a Resident Lifetime Sportsman License.

North Mississippi WMA Waterfowl Habitat Forecast
JACKSON – MDWFP personnel have worked diligently through the summer to manage waterfowl habitat on its Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in North Mississippi. Managed moist-soil vegetation and supplemental plantings of millet and milo should provide wintering waterfowl with abundant food resources in impoundments at Tuscumbia, Canal Section, Sardis Waterfowl, and the Graham Lake portion of Upper Sardis WMA. Additionally, recent removal of woody vegetation within some impoundments at Tuscumbia has improved waterfowl habitat on this WMA. According to WMA biologists, there is a moderate acorn crop within the green tree reservoir at John Bell Williams WMA, and depending upon water levels, will provide an abundance of food for waterfowl.

Deer Primitive Weapon Season Opens December 1st
JACKSON – The Primitive Weapon Season for deer in all deer management zones will open Saturday, December 1st and extend through Friday, December 14th. Antlerless deer and legal bucks are eligible for harvest. Participating hunters may take both an antlerless deer and a legal buck during the same day.

Volunteers Assist on East Central Wildlife Management Areas
JACKSON – Managing the state’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) is a non-stop job, and sometimes it is nice to have an extra hand. There is a variety of tasks that volunteers can assist with across the WMA system in Mississippi.

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.

Quail Season Opens Thanksgiving Day
JACKSON – Mississippi’s statewide bobwhite quail hunting season will open November 22, 2012 and continue through March 2, 2013. There is a daily bag limit of eight quail.

Aerial Waterfowl Surveys Begin November 17
JACKSON – MDWFP Waterfowl Program Biologists will take to the air beginning November 17 as the first in a series of 4 winter waterfowl surveys gets underway. The remaining surveys are scheduled for December 18-20, January 2-5, and January 22-25 depending on weather conditions. These surveys are conducted to provide biologists with an index of the numbers ofwaterfowl wintering in the Mississippi Delta region. Houston Havens, Waterfowl Program Biologist, said “This survey method, developed in cooperation with Mississippi State University, uses sound science to provide reliable estimates of populationsthat are otherwise very difficult to survey. This method has been adopted by several other states in recent years.”

Wildlife Habitat Improvements Completed at Charles Ray Nix WMA
JACKSON – Wildlife habitat improvements were recently completed at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Charles Ray Nix WMA is located a few miles west of Sardis in Panola County and offers approximately 4,000 acres of grassland and woodland habitat.

Wild Hog Management Workshop Scheduled for December 4
JACKSON – A Wild hog Management Workshop will be held December 4 from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in Raymond at Mississippi State University’s Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center. The Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center is located at 1320 Seven Springs Road in Raymond, MS. The program is provided by the MSU Extension Service, USDA’s Wildlife Services, and MDWFP.

White-tailed Deer Gun Season Opens November 17th
JACKSON – Mississippi’s white-tailed deer hunting season with guns opens November 17th and runs through November 30th. Hunting with dogs is allowed during this season. Legal deer include either-sex on private lands and legal bucks on open public lands.

Youth Squirrel Hunting Opportunity Available at Natchez State Park
JACKSON – Youth hunters will have the opportunity to hunt squirrels on Natchez State Park for the first time ever this season. Natchez State Park, located off Highway 61 in Adams County, is known for its quality deer and youth turkey hunting. However, beginning this season, squirrel hunting will be added to the list of opportunities available at Natchez State Park.

Special Primitive Weapons Hunt Opens Today
The Special Primitive Weapons season for white-tailed deer will open today in Delta and Hills Deer Management Zones. The Special Primitive Weapons Hunt is for antlerless deer only on private lands and open public lands from November 5 – 16. This hunting opportunity is not available on MDWFP Wildlife Management Areas. This special season is provided to allow hunters additional hunting opportunities to meet antlerless harvest objectives prior to the rut.

Magnolia crappie stocked in Mississippi State Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau stocked approximately 18,000 Magnolia crappie in five State Fishing Lakes this week. The Magnolia crappie were reared at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery and are a hybrid species best known for having fast growth rates. “Stocking hybrid crappie, which do not reproduce, will maintain a balanced fish population in smaller lakes and provide anglers a quality fishing experience,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Jerry Brown.

Youth Gun Deer Season Opens November 3rd
JACKSON – Deer season for youth hunters 15 years of age or younger begins Saturday, November 3rd across Mississippi. Youth get the first chance with firearms at our state’s exceptional deer herd. Youth may use any modern firearm and may harvest one buck with hardened antlers and one doe per day, not to exceed three bucks and five does the entire deer season. The spread and main beam antler criteria do not apply to youth hunters.

Governor Bryant issues proclamation in honor of MDWFP’s 80th Anniversary
JACKSON - Gov. Phil Bryant today signed a proclamation declaring November 3-4, 2012 as “Conservation Weekend” in honor of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks’ (MDWFP) 80 year anniversary.

MDWFP Offers Chance to Win Lifetime Sportsman License
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is offering Mississippi hunters and anglers the chance to win a Lifetime Sportsman License.

MDWFP to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Roosevelt State Park
JACKSON -The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau is hosting a youth fishing rodeo at Roosevelt State Park on Saturday, November 3, 2012. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years old and younger, and registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Roosevelt State Park is located 2 miles SW of Morton at 2149 Hwy 13 South.

NMFH Bird Program
The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (NMFH VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a Bird Program on Saturday, October 27th at 2:00 p.m. Participants will learn how to make houses and feeders from recycled items found around the home and from natural items found in their own backyard. Participants will also learn some interesting facts about common backyard birds.

2012 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 NortheastMississippi. Fall fishing in Northeast Mississippi has already started to improve, as water temperatures continue to gradually decrease. “In the fall, fish will 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. Fall bass anglers should target lakes that have large shad and shiner populations such as Pickwick, Bay Springs, TraceState Park, and the Canal Section lakes A through E.

Prairie Restoration Efforts on Black Prairie WMA
Black Prairie Wildlife Management Area is a 5,200 acre area located in Lowndes County within the Blackland Prairie soil region. Over the past couple years, habitat management practices have been focused on restoring native prairie habitats on Black Prairie WMA. These habitat management practices will help restore native habitats and improve wildlife habitat on the area for an array of game and non-game species.

Small Game Can Be a Great Start for New Hunters
JACKSON – Squirrel and rabbit seasons are upon us, and there are many opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy time hunting. For many Mississippi hunters, small game hunting was their first hunting experience. However, recent survey data suggests that fewer new hunters are hunting small game, and they are missing a great opportunity to develop a new hunting passion.

MDWFP to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at RecCon Lake in Bolivar County
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP)Fisheries Bureau will host a youth fishing rodeo at RecCon Lake on Saturday, October 20, 2012. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years old and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. RecCon Lake is located two miles west of Mound Bayou, off of West Mound Bayou Road in Bolivar County.

North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Halloween Program
JACKSON - This year the Visitor EducationCenter (VEC) at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery will host the annual Halloween program on October 20th at 2:00 p.m. Supplies are provided, so young artists can create decoupage pumpkins using trophy fish, monster bucks, fishing lures, beautiful flowers, colorful birds, creepy bugs, and much more! (Note to parents: This can be a little messy. Make sure the artists bring older clothes for the crafts.) After the crafts, participants will participate in a scavenger hunt uncovering the "fishing bait" hidden inside and outside the Center.

MDWFP & City of Biloxi Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Hiller Park
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the City of Biloxi are hosting a youth fishingrodeo at Hiller Park in Biloxi on Saturday, October 20, 2012. The fishing rodeo is open to youth 15 years of age and under; registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Hiller Park is located on Atkinson Road approximately 2 miles from Popps Ferry Rd.

WMA Waterfowl Draw Hunts Available on October 15th
Jackson - MDWFP will begin taking applications for waterfowl draw hunts on five Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) on October 15th. These five WMAs are: Charlie Capps WMA, Howard Miller WMA, Mahannah WMA, Muscadine Farms WMA, and Sky Lake WMA.

Mississippi Rabbit Season Opens October 13
JACKSON – Mississippi’s rabbit hunting season begins October 13, 2012 and closes February 28, 2013. The bag limit is 8 rabbits per day. Rabbit hunting is a fun and exciting way to spend time with family and friends and is great way to introduce new people to hunting. Areas with an ample mixture of grasses, legumes and other broadleaf plants, and low brushy cover typically produce the greatest numbers of rabbits. “We expect rabbit populations to be mostly abundant where they have good habitat,” said Rick Hamrick, MDWFP Small Game Biologist. “In many areas with suitable habitat, numbers of rabbits observed seem to be up from previous years. Last winter was mild, and vegetation growing conditions this summer have been mostly favorable. We believe those factors contributed to greater survival and reproduction this year.”

Homochitto National Forest Hunting with Dogs on the Homochitto National Forest
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will continue to enforce regulations (Public Notice of Rule Number W17 3434) concerning hunting with dogs on the Homochitto National Forest. The regulations were first adopted at the beginning of last year’s hunting season.

MDWFP to Assist with Longleaf Pine Field Day in Jones County
Jackson – Private landowners interested in learning more about longleaf pine should attend a field day at Jones County Junior College on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The field day is presented by MDWFP, National Wild Turkey Federation, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Mississippi State Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Jones County Junior College, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Topics will include management of longleaf pine, economic and wildlife benefits, availability of cost share programs; the day will also include field tours to sites in Jones County.

Private Lands Prescribed Burning Program Seeks Applications
JACKSON – MDWFP is continuing the Fire on the Forty partnership with the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that provides cost-share for prescribed burning on private lands. This successful program reimburses landowners in selected focal counties up to 50% of costs for implementing and performing a prescribed burn. These focal counties include: Prentiss, Monroe, Lowndes, and Noxubee in North Mississippi, and Amite, Pike, Walthall, Marion, Lamar, and Pearl River in South Mississippi.

MDWFP to hold Conservation Celebration November 3-4
Jackson, MS—The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will hold “Conservation Celebration” November 3-4, 2012, in honor of its 80th Anniversary. The weekend-long celebration will include a festival at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS) on Saturday, November 3, and free admission to MDWFP State Lakes, State Parks, and Wildlife Management Areas November 3-4.

Longleaf Pine Projects Ongoing at Marion County WMA
JACKSON – Marion County WMA, located south of Columbia, Mississippi is the only state-owned WMA in Mississippi that is predominately forested with longleaf pine. Recently, MDWFP was awarded a State Wildlife Grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to enhance wildlife habitat in Marion County WMA’s longleaf pine forests. Funds from this grant have been used by MDWFP personnel to improve its system of firebreaks on Marion County WMA to allow for an expansion of prescribed burning.

MDWFP Reminds Hunters About Tree Stand Safety
JACKSON – Many Mississippians are looking forward to the opening of deer archery seasons during October. During this time of year, many hunters are making final preparations for the upcoming hunting season, including placing and checking deer stands. Since treestand-related accidents are the leading cause of injury in hunting, MDWFP recommends that anyone hunting from an above-ground treestand know how to properly use and wear a full-body harness. Remember the most important part of your hunt is making it home safely to your family and loved ones.

MDWFP & Simpson County Pastors to Host Youth Fishing Rodeo at Simpson County Lake
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP)Fisheries Bureau and the Simpson County Pastoral Alliance are hosting ayouth fishing rodeo at Simpson County Lake on Saturday, September 29, 2012. The fishing rodeo is open to youth under 16 years old, and registration begins at 7:00 a.m. Simpson County Lake is located on U. S. Highway 49 approximately 5 miles north of Magee, MS.

Waterfowl Impoundment Improvements Completed at Canal Section WMA
JACKSON – Two levee breeches within the waterfowl impoundments at Canal Section WMA were repaired in July. These breeches, which were discovered by managers this past March appeared to have been caused by a combination of tree root growth and burrowing animals. Additional improvements included tree removal along additional sections of exterior and interior levees and replacement of two water-control structures. These infrastructure improvements will ensure the continued management of wintering waterfowl habitat and improve hunting opportunities within the impoundments.

New Record Weight Alligator Harvested in Mississippi
JACKSON – MDWFP confirmed the new record for heaviest alligator on Saturday, September 22. The new record alligator was harvested by the hunting party of Tom Grant of Boyle, MS on a private hunting club near Fitler, Mississippi in Issaquena County. The new weight record of 697.5 pounds exceeds the previous record of 690.5 pounds, which was held by Brian Jackson of Brandon on private lands in Issaquena County in 2011.Grant’s alligator becomes the new record for weight of a male alligator taken by an alligator hunter in Mississippi.

“Edible and Useful Plants of the Gulf South” Lecture to be held at MMNS
Jackson, MS—Join Dr. Charles Allen; Senior Botanist from Colorado State University, for a discussion about edible and useful plants of the Gulf South on Tuesday, October 2 from noon until 1 p.m. in the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science’s Rotwein Theater. This lecture will be a hands-on (actually mouth on and nose on) presentation with fresh and dried samples of edible and useful plants.

Apply Now for Rabbit Hunts at Trim Cane and Nanih Waiya WMAs
JACKSON - Applications are now available for draw permit rabbit hunts with dogs at Nanih Waiya and Trim Cane WMAs. To participate inthese hunts, applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com before October 15th. As with other permitted hunts, there is a charge of $5 for each permit application.

Wildlife Management Area Public Meetings in the South Delta and Southwest Mississippi
JACKSON – MDWFP is hosting public meetings on September 25 for the South Delta WMAs at Hinds Community College in Vicksburg and on September 27 for the Southwest WMAs at Percy Quinn State Park in McComb. The meetings, which are scheduled from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., will showcase WMA harvest data, habitat work, and infrastructure improvements on WMAs in the South Delta and Southwest Mississippi. All WMA users, adjacent landowners, hunting clubs, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

Wildlife Management Area Public Meeting in East Central Mississippi
JACKSON –MDWFP is hosting a public meeting on September 18 at Black Prairie WMA near Brooksville, MS. The meeting, which is scheduled from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., will showcase WMA harvest data, habitat work, and infrastructure improvements for East Central WMAs. All WMA users, adjacent landowners, hunting clubs, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

Mississippi Squirrel Seasons Coming Soon
JACKSON – With the first hint of cooler fall weather, many Mississippi hunters begin thinking about getting into the woods and hunting squirrels. Squirrel hunting is a great way to spend time with family or introduce youth and new hunters to the outdoors.

MDWFP Improves Public Access at Sky Lake WMA
Jackson - MDWFP is continuing improvements to ATV trails and roads at Sky Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located near Belzoni in Humphreys and Leflore Counties. Sky Lake WMA is one of 10 WMAs owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and managed by the MDWFP. The USACE acquired 3,569 acres at Sky Lake WMA to mitigate for terrestrial wildlife losses associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the Upper Yazoo and Upper Steele Bayou Levee Projects. Consisting of cleared agricultural land when it was originally acquired, the land has since been reforested by the USACE with native species of bottomland hardwoods.

Mississippi’s Early Teal Season Opens September 15
JACKSON – The fall’s first duck hunting opportunity for Mississippi will begin when the early teal season opens on September 15. Teal season is growing in popularity as hunters learn how fun it can be to pull out their decoys and calls and watch blue-winged teal rocket through the air.

MDWFP Hosts Wildlife Management Area Public Meetings
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is hosting a series of six public meetings across the state to discuss Wildlife Management Area (WMA) activities. These meetings, held during the spring and fall, will showcase regional WMA harvest data, wildlife habitat and infrastructure improvements, and regulation changes adopted for the 2012-13 hunting season. All WMA users, adjacent landowners, hunting clubs, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

Mississippi’s Early Canada Goose Season Opening Soon
JACKSON – Mississippi hunters will get their first chance to hunt waterfowl when the early Canada goose season opens September 1. This hunting opportunity was developed to help manage Mississippi’s population of resident Canada geese. The season will close on September 15, giving hunters a two week opportunity topursue these birds.

Mississippi’s Dove Season is Quickly Approaching
Jackson - One of the most popular hunting days of the year is quickly approaching. This year, opening day of Mississippi’s dove season is Saturday, September 1. Conservation officers with MDWFP will be present throughout the state to ensure safety and compliance with all state and federal hunting regulations. During their final preparations for opening day, hunters need to consider the following:

Turkey Brood Survey Indicates Best Hatch in a Decade
JACKSON – Each year from June to August, MDWFP conducts a survey to monitor wild turkey reproduction across the state. The brood survey, as it is commonly known, enlists numerous observers who note all turkeys seen during the three-month survey period. The resulting information allows turkey biologists to measure reproductive success and gives hunters an objective look at how turkeys are faring across the Magnolia State.

Mississippi’s Alligator Hunters Prepare for Season Opener
JACKSON – Over 1,100 permitted hunters and their guests recently attended MDWFP’s mandatory alligator training courses to prepare for the permitted alligator hunts on public waterways and private lands in 2012. These mandatory courses, held at Jones County Junior College, Delta State University, and Roosevelt State Park were led by MDWFP biologists and conservation officers. Course topics included alligator ecology, research projects, legal capture and dispatching methods, skinning and processing, proper documentation, and boating safety.

Waterfowl Habitat Improvements Underway at Tuscumbia WMA
JACKSON – Waterfowl habitat improvements are underway at Tuscumbia Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Tuscumbia WMA, located in Alcorn County west of Corinth, provides public hunting opportunities and habitat for a variety of wildlife. Personnel at Tuscumbia WMA manage 7 waterfowl impoundments adjacent to the Tuscumbia River that provide habitat for wintering waterfowl and other wetland birds. Ongoing improvements include renovating a drainage ditch and designated low-water crossings. These improvements will enhance water management capabilities and public access for managers and WMA users.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Leflore County
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Leflore County. "This workshop will allow biologists and private pond owners the opportunity to discuss management options to improve fish populations and habitat," according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Nathan Aycock. "We’ve been hosting these workshops around the state all summer and have had a very positive response, and are looking forward to this upcoming meeting in Greenwood."

Canemount WMA Set to Open for 2012-13 Hunting Season
JACKSON – MDWFP recently acquired the Canemount Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Claiborne County, near Port Gibson. The Canemount property includes approximately 3,500 acres of hardwood forests and has a long history of trophy deer management. The previous owner worked with MDWFP biologists through the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) since 1991 and managed the property as a commercial hunting operation. This region of Mississippi has historically produced some of the largest deer in the state and deer population densities are high. Those hunters seeking a unique hunting opportunity should look no further than Canemount WMA.

Dove Hunting Opportunity Available on Copiah County WMA
JACKSON – Copiah County Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will once again offer dove hunting opportunities this year. WMA personnel have professionally prepared two dove fields on the area. Dove hunting at Copiah County WMA is allowed on Wednesdays and Saturdays from noon until sunset during the first North Zone dove season, September 1 – 23.

Alcorn County Dove Field Ready for Opening Day
Jackson - MDWFP still has a limited number of permits available for the Alcorn County dove field. The field, which has been in the MDWFP’s Private Lands Dove Field Program for several years, is located near Corinth and has a good history of holding doves. The 17-acre field was planted to browntop millet with strips of sunflowers. The millet will be managed to coincide with attracting doves for opening weekend, and the sunflowers will continue to attract doves for the remainder of the first two dove seasons.

Kemper County Dove Field Ready for Opening Day
Jackson - MDWFP still has some permits left for its Kemper County dove field. The field has been in the MDWFP’s Private Lands Dove Field Program since 2005, longer than any other field. The 90-acre field, located just east of Scooba, was planted to browntop millet and corn, and naturally-occurring foods like crab grass and broad-leaf signal grass are also found on the field. The millet and other grasses will be managed to provide a clean place for the doves to land and feed.

Lincoln County Dove Field Ready for Opening Day
Jackson - MDWFP still has some permits available for its Lincoln County dove field. The 33-acre field, which has been in the MDWFP’s Private Lands Dove Field Program for several years, is located southwest of Brookhaven near Bogue Chitto. The field is part of a working cattle farm and will be planted to winter grazing cover, which has produced good dove hunting in the past. Hay bales will be distributed across the field for hunters to use as cover.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Oktibbeha 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 Oktibbeha County. The workshop will be held at the Oktibbeha County Extension Office located at 106 Felix Long Drive in Starkville, MS on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 pm. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Oktibbeha County Extension Office at (662) 323-5916.

Mississippi’s Waterfowl Seasons Announced
Jackson- The Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks approved the dates and bag limits for the 2012-2013 waterfowl hunting seasons at its August 15 meeting in Jackson. Duck, merganser, and coot seasons will be November 23 - November 25, 2012; November 30 - December 2, 2012; and December 5, 2012 - January 27, 2013. The daily bag limit will be a total of 6 ducks, including no more than 4 mallards (no more than 2 of which may be females), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 4 scaup, 2 pintail, 1 canvasback, 1 mottled duck, and 1 black duck. The merganser daily bag limit will be a total of 5 mergansers, only 2 of which may be hooded mergansers. Coots will have a 15-bird daily bag limit. The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit for ducks, mergansers, and coots.

Deer, Early Teal, and Rabbit Hunting Applications Available August 1st
Deer, Early Teal, and Rabbit Hunting Applications Available August 1st JACKSON – Beginning August 1st, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks began accepting draw permit applications for early season teal and deer hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Applicants must apply online at www.mdwfp.com from August 1 – 31. There will be a charge of $5 for each permit application. Permitted early season teal hunts will be available at Howard Miller and Muscadine Farms WMAs. Permitted rabbit hunts will be available at Nanih Waiya WMA.

Liberal Frameworks Available for Mississippi Waterfowl Hunters
Jackson – States in the Mississippi Flyway will again have the opportunity for liberal waterfowl frameworks during the 2012-13 hunting season. In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Mississippi Flyway Council approved the liberal alternative for duck seasons during its July meeting. This means Mississippi waterfowl hunters will again have the opportunity to hunt 60 days with a 6-duck daily bag limit for the 2012-2013 waterfowl hunting season.

Private Land Dove Field Permits Available August 6
Jackson – Hunting permits for Private Land Dove Fields will be available for purchase beginning at 8:00 a.m. on August 6, 2012. The Private Land Dove Field Program is a popular program in which MDWFP biologists work with private landowners to prepare fields and manage public access on private lands. In 2012, these private fields will be located in Alcorn, Tate, Madison, Kemper, Jones, and Lincoln Counties. These fields were planted to a variety of crops favored by doves, including sunflowers, millet, and corn. Permits allow hunters to hunt three days per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday) during the first two dove seasons. These permits provide an excellent opportunity to introduce youth to hunting, as each permit allows up to two youth to hunt with an adult hunter at no additional cost.

Deer Hunting Opportunities for Youth and Handicapped Hunters on Trim Cane WMA
JACKSON - Deer season is only a couple months away. Hunters are beginning to get deer hunting fever as they plan their hunts. Trim Cane Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is primarily managed for waterfowl hunting; however there are some unique deer hunting opportunities for youth and handicapped hunters. The WMA is an 891-acre tract located about four miles north of Starkville in Oktibbeha County. Outside of the waterfowl impoundments, habitat on Trim Cane is managed primarily in an early successional stage which provides excellent deer habitat.

WMA User Permit Required for Visitors to Pascagoula River WMA
JACKSON – Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all across Mississippi and surrounding states. The Pascagoula River, its tributaries, oxbow lakes, and over 35,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forests provide ample recreation opportunities for visitors to the WMA. Whether hunting, fishing, canoeing, or just enjoying a family picnic on a sandbar; Pascagoula River WMA offers something for everyone.

The MDWFP Celebrates 80 Years of Conservation: 1932-2012
JACKSON - This year the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is celebrating 80 years of conserving natural resources across the state. The MDWFP is about hunting, fishing, conservation, and education. We are also about protecting the traditions, rites of passage, weekend getaways, and campfire moments that make living in and visiting Mississippi such a rich experience.

Largest Black Bear Ever Caught in Mississippi
ISSAQUENA COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - The biggest black bear ever documented in Mississippi was captured last week in Issaquena County by state wildlife officials.

Private Lands Prescribed Burning Program Accepting Applications Now
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is continuing its partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide cost-share for prescribed burning on private lands. During 2011, the “Fire on the Forty” program provided cost-share funding for prescribed burning on more than 10,000 acres in North and South Mississippi. Similar funding levels are expected this year, and applications will be accepted from more counties.

Waterfowl Breeding Populations Increase in 2012
JACKSON- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service recently completed their annual waterfowl population surveys on the breeding grounds to monitor waterfowl populations and to help set hunting season frameworks. Overall, North American breeding waterfowl populations increased 7 percent from 2011 to just over 48 million birds.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Rankin County
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service arehosting a pond management workshop in Rankin County. The workshop will be held at the Rankin County Extension Office located at 601 Marquette Road in Brandon, MS on Thursday, July 19 at 6:30 pm. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Extension Office at (601) 825-1462 or the MDWFP regional office at (601) 859-3421.

Governor’s Signature Edition Mississippi Duck Stamp and Print Available
JACKSON –Waterfowl hunters can get an early start on the season by purchasing their 2012/2013 Mississippi Duck Stamp. The stamp is available for purchase and features an image of a drake green-winged teal, photographed by award-winning photographer Joe Mac Hudspeth, Jr. While being the smallest of North American Ducks, the green-winged teal is highly prized by duck hunters, as it is the second most commonly harvested bird behind the mallard.

Waterfowl Habitat Improvement Project Planned for Sardis Waterfowl WMA
JACKSON - Sardis Waterfowl WMA, located near Oxford, Mississippi, is cooperatively managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and Sardis Lake US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Two of its 7 waterfowl impoundments are slated to be improved this summer with primary assistance from USACE. Infrastructure improvements in the 15 year-old impoundments include refurbishment of the levee system, replacement of water-control structures, and repair of the existing pump that is used to flood the impoundments. This 35-acre enhancement project will increase the amount of shallow-water habitat for wintering waterfowl and improve the reliability of waterfowl habitat. Last week, MDWFP biologists and USACE personnel utilized prescribed fire to remove vegetation within each impoundment and USACE personnel surveyed impoundment elevations. These planned improvements are scheduled to begin in July as weather conditions allow.

MDWFP Recognizes Free Fishing Day on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
JACKSON - Mark your calendar now for Free Fishing Day on the Mississippi Gulf Coast on July 4, 2012. This free fishing day is a coastal celebration of fishing. On July 4th, any person may sport fish without a license on Mississippi Gulf Coast waters. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will recognize this free fishing day on the Mississippi coastal waters of Jackson, Harrison, and Hancock counties. Mississippi Gulf Coast free fishing day will also mark the final day of the 2012 Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo with various events planned in association with this great fishing experience. During the free fishing day, Mississippi Gulf Coast anglers should get on the water and enjoy the diverse fishing opportunities available in our coastal bays, bayous, and estuaries.

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.

Media Day at MDWFP’s Lefleur’s Bluff Golf Course
JACKSON -- The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will host a Media Day on Thursday, June 28 at LeFleur's Bluff Golf Course. The event will start at noon at the clubhouse.

MDWFP Revises Nuisance Wildlife Regulations
JACKSON - At its May 16, 2012 meeting, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks adopted new regulations concerning nuisance wildlife in Mississippi. Due to their often destructive behavior on private lands, beaver, coyote, fox, nutria, skunk, and wild hogs are classified as "nuisance animals" in Mississippi. These current regulations, as set forth in Public Notice LE-06 3779, allow private landowners to manage nuisance animals throughout the year with special exceptions and restrictions. These new regulations are important to help control Mississippi's wild hog population. Wild hogs, a non-native species in Mississippi, cause extensive damage to crops, timber, pastures, and native wildlife habitats and compete with native wildlife for food resources.

2012 Youth Participation Initiative Program Announced
Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is pleased to announce the Youth Participation Initiative (YPI) Program will be accepting applications beginning July 1, 2012, from organizations interested in increasing youth involvement in the great outdoors.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Forrest County
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Forrest County. “We receive numerous requests for help managing ponds to achieve pond owner goals - whether it is catching bigger bass, creating a quality bream fishery or simply stocking catfish,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Stephen Brown. “Anyone interested in learning more about pond management or those considering building a pond are encouraged to attend.”

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Harrison County
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Harrison County. “We receive numerous requests for help managing ponds to achieve pond owner goals - whether it is catching bigger bass, creating a quality bream fishery or simply stocking catfish,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Stephen Brown. “Anyone interested in learning more about pond management or those considering building a pond are encouraged to attend.”

MDWFP Extends Alligator Hunting Application Period
JACKSON - By Executive Order, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has extended the period open to persons interested in purchasing applications for lottery-based public water alligator hunting permits. Due to technical difficulties with the MDWFP’s website on June 15, some interested persons were not able to submit their application. The MDWFP will re-open the application process on June 25, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight. There are 6 public water alligator hunting zones available. Applicants may apply for any or all zones. There is a charge of $10 per zone application. Applicants must be residents of Mississippi and at least 16 years of age to apply. A credit card or debit card and an email address are required to purchase applications. To purchase and submit applications, please visit www.mdwfp.com.

Bird Banding Efforts Ongoing in Mississippi
JACKSON - MDWFP’s wildlife biologists and conservation officers recently completed a rocket netting workshop at the Turcotte Education Center near Ross Barnett Reservoir. The purpose of this workshop, taught by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Wildlife Services, was to instruct personnel who band wood ducks how to safely capture and handle birds.

MDWFP Partners with MDEQ to Stock Pearl River
JACKSON – Approximately 14,000 lbs. of harvestable-sized blue catfish will be released into the Pearl River near Picayune (Walkiah Bluff) on Friday at 10 a.m., part of a continued recovery effort by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Waterfowl Management at Trim Cane WMA
JACKSON - The primary management objective at Trim Cane Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is to provide quality habitat for waterfowl. To meet this objective, wildlife managers develop short and long-term management plans, which incorporate the latest management techniques. Though waterfowl season may seem like a long way off, wildlife managers have already begun spraying noxious weeds and planting supplemental crops within the seven waterfowl impoundments on the WMA. Improving the habitat quality within these impoundments ensures that quality food sources are available this coming winter. Nuisance species such as beaver and nutria can negatively affect water levels and natural drainage patterns within impoundments. Thus, managers also work hard to control these species throughout Trim Cane WMA.

MDWFP Conducts Annual Alligator Surveys
JACKSON – Biologists and Conservation Officers from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) are conducting annual alligator surveys throughout the state to monitor alligator populations. These surveys are conducted at night along established routes, some as long as 34 miles in length, on 16 major river systems and lakes. Alligator population data obtained from these surveys were instrumental in successfully removing the American alligator from the endangered species list in 1987. In addition, the survey data have helped support the most recent expansion of alligator hunting opportunities. The deadline for applying for a 2012 alligator hunting permit is June 15th.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Bolivar County
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Bolivar County.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Warren County
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting a pond management workshop in Warren County. “We will discuss management options that can help pond owners achieve their goals - whether that’s growing bigger bass or creating a trophy bream fishery,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Jerry Brown. “Anyone interested in learning more about pond management or those considering building a pond are encouraged to attend.”

Mississippi Alligator Hunting Season Expands - Applications Now Accepted
JACKSON – Alligator hunting applications will be accepted June 1-15 for the 2012 alligator season on public waterways. Applications may be purchased only from the MDWFP website, www.mdwfp.com/draws. Applicants must be residents of Mississippi and at least 16 years of age.

Improving Old Field Habitat at Divide Section WMA.
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) wildlife managers are working to improve wildlife habitat within old fields at Divide Section Wildlife Management Area (DSWMA) in northeast Mississippi. Since 2011, approximately 50 acres have been improved through a combination of selective herbicides and native warm season grass establishment.

New Regulation Passes for Boat Creel Limit on Crappie forNorth Mississippi
JACKSON - In May, the Commission on Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks passed Public Notice of Intent F-3818, which adopted a boat creel limit on crappie for Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada Flood Control Reservoirs in North Mississippi.

MDWFP Kicks off Boater Education Campaign
JACKSON - During the 2012 Boating Season in Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Enforcement Officers will be out patrolling the waterways to ensure that boaters are in compliance with state and federal laws and are using good boating safety practices. The MDWFP is also promoting a safety project called “Lifejackets They Float You Don’t” in an effort to increase awareness and the importance of wearing lifejackets. While on patrol, MDWFPOfficers will reward any child 12 years of age or under who is wearing a properly fitted U. S. Coast Guard approved lifejacket. The child will receive a coupon for free admission to any MDWFP State Park and a free boat launch or guest pass to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Bird Watching Opportunities at Pearl River WMA
JACKSON - For many years, local birders and waterfowl enthusiasts have enjoyed the waterfowl sanctuary at Pearl River WMA. Pearl River WMA is only a short drive from Jackson and is a great place to come and enjoy the outdoors. The observation tower, located just off Highway 43 on Ross Barnett Reservoir, overlooks one of the managed wetlands and is a prime location to view waterfowl during the winter and spring months. Beginning in mid-June, the tower will be temporarily closed for improvements.

MDWFP Investigates Fish Kill at Sardis Reservoir
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) biologists recently responded to fish kill reports at Sardis Lake. Several shoreline areas were examined around the lake. The kill was over 97% white bass. An estimated 73,510 white bass died. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) was alerted by MDWFP.

Deer Processing and the Illegal Sale or Trade of Processed Venison
JACKSON- The 2011-2012 deer hunting season is now complete. As usual, deer hunter success varies according to whom you ask, but every successful deer hunter this past season had a decision to make – how and/or where am I going to have my deer processed?

Largemouth Bass Stocked at Lake George & Dump Lake
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks (MDWFP) stocked approximately 46,000 largemouth bass fingerlings into Lake George and 16,000 into Dump Lake on May 16, 2012. Both of these oxbow lakes were formed by the Yazoo River and are located in Yazoo County, near Satartia. Recent population assessments have indicated low numbers of young bass; the additional fish were added to help improve the fishery. “Stocking largemouth bass will provide anglers with more fishing opportunities and help boost the overall fishery at these lakes,” according to MDWFP fisheries biologist Jerry Brown. The bass were reared at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery.

Using the Axe, Match, and Plow at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area
MDWFP wildlife biologists are using the modern versions of an axe, match, and plow to create and maintain quality wildlife habitat at Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area (CRNWMA). These tools, which were identified so long ago by famous conservationist Aldo Leopold, and used by farmers throughout Mississippi’s history, have been replaced by modern forest management methods, drip torch, and tractor. Located west of Sardis in Panola County, nearly all of its 4,000 acres are intensively managed for a host of game and non-game species of wildlife. Since the WMA was acquired by MDWFP, its upland forests have been thinned, controlled seasonal fire has been reintroduced across the WMA, and native grasses are now reestablished in former agricultural fields.

Mississippi Alligator Travels 30 Miles to Louisiana
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) was recently notified by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) about a nuisance alligator near Lake Providence, Louisiana. While there was nothing illegal or unusual about the nuisance alligator complaint, the LDWF agent alligator trapper noticed some tags located in the alligator tail and on its hind feet. The tags were identified as those attached to alligators in Mississippi as part of a monitoring project being conducted by MDWFP. The alligator, identified as White 4, was originally captured and tagged by MDWFP in Warren County, approximately 1 mile south of Eagle Lake on March 18, 2009. At the time of capture, it was 7 feet 7 inches long. When this alligator was captured near Lake Providence, LA on April 11, 2012, it was 9 feet 2 inches long. Since the time of original capture in Mississippi, White 4 had traveled at least 30.6 miles and had grown 6.3 inches per year.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Lauderdale County
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 Lauderdale County. The workshop will be held at the East Mississippi Electric Power Association Office located at 2128 Highway 39 North in Meridian, MS on Tuesday May 15 at 6:00 pm. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Extension Office at (601) 482-9764 or the MDWFP regional office at (601) 859-3421.

MDWFP Recognizes Dove and Wood Duck Banders of the Year
The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks recently recognized the 2010 and 2011 Mourning Dove and Wood Duck Bander of the Year at their April meeting in Jackson. “The MDWFP and our partners work hard to band wood ducks and mourning doves each year” stated MDWFP Wildlife Bureau Director Ed Penny, “and these awards recognize the individuals that band the most birds each year. Ducks and doves are captured, then fitted with aluminum leg bands and released.” Important information about migration and survival is obtained when these birds are harvested and reported by hunters.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Deer Management Workshops
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and Mississippi State University are planning four workshops throughout the state to teach participants how to better manage their land for white-tailed deer. The workshops are in two-day sets, and participants may register for one or both days. Workshops will be held June 1 in Vicksburg at Hinds Community College and June 2 at Mahannah Wildlife Management Area north of Vicksburg. The workshops on the MSU campus will be July 13 and 14 at the College of Forest Resources’ Thompson Hall.

Dove Fields Being Prepared at Black Prairie WMA
Spring turkey season is now a memory, so that means it is time for the MDWFP to begin preparing dove fields at Black Prairie WMA. While it may seem like a long time until early fall and the beginning of dove season, now is the time to begin planting sunflowers to prepare for the opening day of dove season. The opening day of dove season is a special tradition in Mississippi, and MDWFP seeks to provide a unique hunting opportunity for youth at Black Prairie. The opening day at Black Prairie is open only to youth hunters 15 years of age and younger. Youth must be accompanied by a licensed adult when hunting and all hunters must possess a WMA User Permit unless they are exempt from purchasing an annual hunting or fishing license.

Learn More About Deer Management at Copiah County WMA
JACKSON – MDWFP, in partnership with the Southwest Mississippi Quality Deer Management Association branch, is hosting a Deer Management Field Day on May 19th at Copiah County WMA near Hazlehurst. The half-day event will feature presentations and field tours by MDWFP biologists on a range of topics including deer harvest strategies and habitat management practices.

Trey Humphreys Named Archery Instructor of the Year
Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is pleased to announce that Trey Humphreys has been selected as the Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) Instructor of the Year. Trey is the archery coach at East Union Attendance Center in Blue Springs and also serves as a regional AIMS assistant for the MDWFP. “Mississippi is fortunate to have an instructor like Trey,” said Waldo Cleland, AIMS statewide coordinator. “He is one of the finest coaches in the state.” Trey has been instrumental to the success of AIMS, in which more than 31,000 youth participate annually.

Spring Turkey Season Continues Until May 1
JACKSON –Mississippi turkey hunters still have time remaining in the 2012 spring season, which closes on May 1, 2012. Hunters throughout most regions of the Magnolia State are reporting great success during the 2012 turkey season. A good statewide hatch in 2010 resulted in an increase in the great number of 2-year old gobblers hunters have encountered this spring. “Two-year old gobblers are usually the most vocal and tend to be more susceptible to harvest” says MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Leader Adam Butler. In addition to increased number of birds, generally favorable weather conditions have also helped make the 2012 season one to remember.

MDWFP and MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Lee 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 Lee County. The workshop will be held at the Itawamba Community College Belden Center in Tupelo on Thursday May 3, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to register by calling the Extension office at (662) 841-9000.

Minimize Deer Damage to Gardens and Landscaping
JACKSON- With spring upon us, many Mississippians are planting gardens and working hard to beautify their property. However, white-tailed deer find many garden and landscape plants very appealing and can often force gardeners to battle deer for their prized plants. To manage the problem, MDWFP suggests a few tips that may save your plants this spring and summer.

2012 Camp Fish Events Scheduled
JACKSON- The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi Bass Federation have announced the 2012 Camp Fish schedule. Camps will be held June 4-7 at Leroy Percy State Park near Hollandale, July 18-21 at the Turcotte Education Center in Madison County, and July 16-19 at Paul B. Johnson State Park near Hattiesburg.

Delay Mowing to Avoid Disturbing Wild Turkey Nests
JACKSON – Late April through early June is the peak nesting season for wild turkeys and several other ground-nesting birds. These species prefer to nest in overgrown pastures, hay fields, road edges, and ditch banks, which can make them vulnerable to mowing and haying. In order to avoid impacting these species, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recommends delaying mowing of these areas until after July 1st. For land enrolled in certain federal conservation cost-share programs, contracts may require that mowing be delayed until August 15th.

Governor Ensures MDWFP’s Continued Participation in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs
Jackson – Gov. Phil Bryant yesterday signed into law legislation that will protect Mississippi sportsmen’s investment in conservation. The assent legislation in H. B. 848 meets the most basic requirement for participation in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) programs. These essential programs, administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, currently provide around $10 million in federal assistance annually to support MDWFP operations. WSFR funding comes from manufacturers’ excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition, fishing equipment, and boats and motors.

Wolf Lake Receives Florida-strain Largemouth Bass
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked 25,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass into Wolf Lake on Thursday, April 12th. The fingerlings were reared at the MDWFP Turcotte Fish Hatchery near Canton. Wolf Lake and adjoining Broad Lake comprise a 1,000-acre oxbow located near Yazoo City that was significantly impacted by the 2011 Mississippi River flood. “The bass population at Wolf Lake has improved over the last few years and we want to see that continue,” said MDWFP fisheries biologist Jerry Brown. There is a 12-inch minimum length limit for largemouth bass at Wolf and Broad Lakes and a daily creel limit of five fish per angler.

Florida Largemouth Bass Stocked at Eagle Lake
JACKSON – On Wednesday, April 11th, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked approximately 161,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into Eagle Lake. The fish were reared at MDWFP’s Turcotte Fish Hatchery near Canton. “We’ve been stocking largemouth bass into Eagle Lake for several years and it has been very successful,” stated MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Jerry Brown.

Bream Fishing Heating up in Northeast Mississippi
JACKSON – With consistent weather, and warmer than usual temperatures, the bream bite has started to turn on. “Bream start to move into their shallow spawning locations when the water hits about 70 degrees, and that’s where most lakes in this region are now,” said Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologist Tyler Stubbs. “Bream nest in colonies of circular depressions in shallow water when they spawn, looking similar to a honeycomb, making bream beds easy to find while fishing,” continued Stubbs.

Native American Artifacts Program at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (VEC) will host a NativeAmerican Artifacts Program on April 21, 2012. Conner Vick, a local expert on the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes and life-long resident of Enid Lake, will share his knowledge of Enid Lake’s history and the tribes that once lived in the area. Program participants will inspect tools and artwork held by the Choctaw and Chickasaw thousands of years ago.

MDWFP & MSU to Host Pond Management Workshop in Lafayette County
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service are hosting apond management workshop in Lafayette County. The workshop will be held at the Lafayette County Extension Office in Oxford on Saturday April 14, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked toregister by calling the Extension office at (662) 234-8701.

Kids Fish Identification Program
JACKSON –The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Park’s Visitor Education Center (VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a Kid’s Fish Identification Program on Saturday, April 14th at 2:00 p.m. Young anglers can learn how to identify the many different species of fish found in Enid Lake and other lakes and ponds across the state. Josh Howell will present this program. A Conservation Associate Fisheries Biologist from the MDWFP Fisheries Bureau, Howell works in the northwest area of Mississippi including the four reservoirs operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

MDWFP Announces Longleaf Pine Field Day
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) and its partners will host a field day for private landowners interested in learning more about the benefits of longleaf pine. The event will be held at a private property in Lawrence County nearSilver Creek, Mississippi on May 10th, 2012. Topics will include management of longleaf pine, economic and wildlife benefits, cost-share programs, and more. The workshop will run from 9am to 3pm, with lunch provided for field day participants.

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.

MDWFP & 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 apond management workshop in Pike County. The workshop will be held at the MDWFP South Region office in Magnolia on Tuesday April 17, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. An hour-long presentation will include topics on pond design, fish stocking, harvest, vegetation control, liming, and fertilizing. A question-and-answer period will follow. Those interested in attending the workshop are asked toregister by calling the MDWFP South Region office at (601)783-2911.

Florida Largemouth Bass Stockings at Ross Barnett Reservoir
JACKSON – On Tuesday, March 27th, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked 150,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into Ross Barnett Reservoir. Thefish were reared at MDWFP’s Turcotte Fish Hatchery near Canton. According to MDWFP Fisheries Biologist, Larry Bull, the goal of the Florida-strain bass stockings is to help increase the number of trophy-sized (> 5 pounds) bass in the Reservoir. Bull also stated, “The Department has stocked over 600,000 Florida bass in the Ross Barnett since 2008.”

New Sportsman’s License/Prints are Available
Jackson – With turkeys gobbling and fish biting, now is a great time to be outdoors in Mississippi. If you plan to go hunting or fishing this spring make sure you have a valid license, such as the 2012-13 Sportsman License.

Florida Largemouth Bass Stockings at Columbus and Aberdeen Lakes
JACKSON – On Wednesday, March 28th, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) stocked approximately 200,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into Columbus and Aberdeen Lakes on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The fish were reared at MDWFP’s Turcotte FishHatchery near Canton. “Florida-strain largemouth bass typically grow faster and potentially grow larger than native bass,” stated MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. According to Stubbs, the goal of the Florida-strain bass stockings is to help increase the number oftrophy-sized (> 5 pounds) bass in these two lakes. A 14-inch minimum length limit is in effect on these two lakes to help increase the number of fish that reach larger sizes.

Crappie Fishing Heating up in Delta Oxbows
JACKSON – Above average temperatures the past few weeks have led to great crappie fishing in many Mississippi Delta lakes. “Crappie move into shallow water to spawn based on water temperatures, and many oxbows are warming up quickly,” said Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologist Nathan Aycock. “This is triggering fish to move towards their shallow water spawning ground, and lots of big crappie are being caught in water one to three feet deep.”

Outdoor Imagination Art Exhibit
JACKSON – The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (VEC) at Enid Lake will host the annual “Outdoor Imagination Art Exhibit” on Saturday, March 31st. "Outdoor Imagination" is a unique art show featuring the work of young artists from the Imagination Station of Water Valley as they capture the outdoors in their own creative way. This art exhibit will begin at 12:00 noon on March 31st and remain at the Center until May. Numerous pieces created by the youngsters including drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage, and paintings are included in the show.

“Catch and Win” Fishing Rodeo
JACKSON - The 4th Annual “Catch and Win” fishing rodeo sponsored by Meridian area McDonald’s Restaurants, television stations CBS24, NBC30, and Fox30, Meridian Community College, Meridian Coca Cola Bottling, and Pure Fishing Inc, begins March 26th and ends May 28th. Anglers fishing Neshoba County Lake, Kemper County Lake, Okatibbee Lake, Upper Bonita Lake, Lake Tom Bailey, and Clarkco State Park should inspect their catch carefully and look for fish with a white tag on their back. Three hundred fish were tagged and released in these lakes by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Fisheries personnel.

Proposed Changes for Freshwater Commercial Fishing Regulations
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has announced changes in freshwater commercial fishing regulations are being considered and public comments are being accepted on these proposed changes.

2012 Pond Management Workshops
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau and the Mississippi State University Extension Service will host 12 pond management workshops across Mississippi in 2012. Theworkshops are designed to provide pond owners and future pond owners with information regarding the management of their small lakes. “Our fisheries biologists receive hundreds of calls each year from pond owners who have questions ranging from growing bigger fish to controlling aquatic vegetation”, said MDWFP Fisheries Bureau Assistant Director Larry Pugh. “The workshops will allow biologists and pond owners across the State to interact and provide participants with management strategies.”

MDWFP Marksmanship Program offers Shotgun-Shooting Classes
Jackson – Shooting is a skill we all want to improve and shotgun-shooting legend John Satterwhite wants to show you how.

MDWFP Continues Assistance Program for Wetland Habitat on Private Lands in Mississippi
JACKSON- Mississippi Partners for Fish and Wildlife (MPFW), a partnership which includes Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) federal agencies, conservation organizations, and private companies, is working to improve wetland habitat on privately-owned lands for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. MPFW is now seeking applications for new private land wetland projects until May 1, 2012.

Wild Turkey Report Available Thanks to Volunteer Hunters
JACKSON – MDWFP, in partnership with the Mississippi Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is pleased to announce the release of its annual report on the status of Mississippi’s wild turkey population. This full-color publication, entitled “Spittin’ & Drummin’,” is available for download at http://www.mdwfp.com/turkey. The Wild Turkey Report contains a wealth of information regarding trends in turkey numbers from around the state, habitat management advice for hunters and landowners, and other accounts of conservation efforts relating to wild turkeys.

2012 Fishing Forecast for Northeast Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are excited about the prospects of angler success in the upcoming fishing season in Northeast Mississippi. Fall 2011 population sampling on Lake Monroe, Elvis Presley Lake, Tippah County Lake, and Lake Lowndes State Park showed high catch rates of small bass. “Due to the large population of smaller bass, creel limits in these lakes have been increased to 30 fish per day. We want to encourage folks to harvest those smaller fish” said MDWFP Fisheries Biologist Tyler Stubbs. “These lakes also have quality crappie and bream populations, especially in Lake Monroe” continued Stubbs. Anglers targeting catfish should head to Oktibbeha County Lake or Elvis Presley Lake as both lakes boast healthy populations of quality-sized catfish.

MDWFP Hosts 2nd Annual MBA/AIMS 3-D Tournament
JACKSON- On Saturday, March 3, 2012, over 100 archers visited the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Jackson Archery Center to compete in the 2nd Annual Archery in Mississippi Schools (AIMS) 3-D tournament. This shoot was a joint project of the MDWFP Archery Center and the Mississippi Bowhunters Association (MBA). The MBA provided aconcession area with fresh grilled food, refreshments, and volunteers. MBA 3-D coordinator, Bill Tolbert, shared ideas, direction, and advice that enabled the Jackson Archery Center staff to develop a top-notch 3-D course. The course was staged in the river bottomland, south of the Archery Center. Each target was marked with a 12, 10, 8, and 5 point scoring ring. Each archer was allowed to fire one arrow per target, and then proceed to the next target.

License Required to Harvest Freshwater Crawfish and Freshwater Shrimp from Public Waters
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) adopted new regulations regarding the harvest of freshwater crawfish and freshwater shrimp from public waters. A fishing license is required to take crawfish and freshwater shrimp for personal use. A commercial fishing license is required to sell, resell or export crawfish taken from public waters. Crawfish and shrimp traps placed in public water shall be marked with a waterproof tag printed with the fisherman’s full name and the MDWFP customer number found on the license document.

2012 Spring Bass Fishing Forecast for North Mississippi Flood Control Reservoirs
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing in 2012 on north Mississippi’s Corps of Engineers’ flood control reservoirs (FCRs). Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes are some of the best bass waters in the state. Angling in these lakes helps boost local economies as they support about 1.5 million hours of fishing yearly.

MS Museum of Natural Science Expands Research & Collections Section
MS Museum of Natural Science Expands Research & Collections Section Senator Cochran joins museum leaders to dedicate & tour the Mississippi Center for Conservation & Biodiversity Jackson, MS … Today, Senator Thad Cochran and Chris Zachow, president of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation, joined officials from the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to dedicate and tour the Mississippi Center for Conservation and Biodiversity (MCCB). The MCCB is an expansion of the Museum’s existing collections and laboratory space which houses more than one million scientific specimens. Prior to the construction of this $5 million dollar research facility expansion, many of the Museum’s collections were at or near storage capacity.

2012 Fishing Forecast for Southwest Mississippi Lakes
2012 Fishing Forecast for Southwest Mississippi Lakes

2012 Spring Crappie Fishing Forecast for North Mississippi Flood Control Reservoirs
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing in 2012 on north Mississippi’s Corps of Engineers’ flood control reservoirs (FCRs). Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes are some of the best crappie waters in the country, boosting local economies as they support about 1.5 million hours of fishing yearly.

2012 Spring Lake Level Forecast for North Mississippi Flood Control Reservoirs
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) fisheries biologists are optimistic about fishing in 2012 on north Mississippi’s Corps of Engineers’ flood control reservoirs (FCRs). Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid, and Grenada Lakes are some of the best crappie waters in the country. Boosting local economies, these lakes support about 1.5 million hours of fishing yearly.

Youth Turkey Season Offers Excitement for Young Hunters
JACKSON – The 2012 youth spring turkey season will begin on private lands and authorized state and federal lands on Thursday, March 8th. This special season, which is available to hunters ages 15 and under, coincides with spring break for many of Mississippi’s school systems. This opportunity is an excellent chance to introduce young hunters to the thrill of pursuing springtime gobblers.

Anticipation Builds for the Opening of Spring Turkey Season
JACKSON – Excitement among turkey hunters in many parts of the state is building as the 2012 spring turkey season gets closer. The 2012 spring turkey season will open on March 15th and will run through May 1st. Two years ago, MDWFP biologists reported that the 2010 hatch was well above average, which should translate into an abundance of 2-year-old gobblers to greet hunters this year. “Two-year-olds are the age group that generally account for the highest percentage of the harvest, so when that age group is up, so too are harvest rates,” stated Dave Godwin, the MDWFP Wild Turkey Program Coordinator. Adam Butler, MDWFP Turkey Program biologist, indicated that this increase in reproduction yielded a spike in jake observations last season, and these birds have been carried over for the 2012 season. “This should be one of the better seasons we’ve had in awhile,” said Butler.

NMFH Jig Tying Program to be held on March 3, 2012
The North Mississippi Fish Hatchery Visitor Education Center (NMFH VEC) adjacent to Enid Lake will host a jig tying program on Saturday, March 3rd at 2:00 pm. Crappie anglers have a chance to join local, jig-tying expert Gwin Jackson and see the jigs’ creation from hook to final product. Participants will have theopportunity to speak with Mr. Jackson at this program before hitting the lakes and the crappie this spring.

Wildlife Management Area Public Meetings – North Delta and Southeast MS
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has two public meetings scheduled for next week. These meetings will showcase regional WMA harvest data, habitat work, infrastructure improvements, and information about MDWFP. All WMA users, adjacent landowners, hunting clubs, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

Wildlife Management Area Public Meetings – South Delta and Southwest MS
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Wildlife Management Area (WMA) public has two meetings scheduled for next week. These meetings will showcase regional WMA harvest data, habitat work, infrastructure improvements, and information about MDWFP. All WMA users, adjacent landowners, hunting clubs, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

Howard Miller WMA Closed During Light Goose Conservation Order
JACKSON – The Light Goose Conservation Goose Order hunt will be closed on Howard Miller Wildlife Management Area (WMA) according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). Howard Miller WMA regulations state that the area will be open during this special opportunity in accordance with Federal regulations However, due to pending farming practices that will improve waterfowl habitat, this area will be closed to hunting beginning February 6th.

Boater Education is Available Online
JACKSON- With the upcoming 2012 Boating Season approaching, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is now offering the online Boater Education Course. Any person born after June 30, 1980 must have successfully completed a Boating Safety Course prior to operating any type of watercraft. The course will teach a variety of topics about safe operation while boating and the importance of wearing Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs).

Turkey Season Changes on South Delta WMAs
JACKSON - Flood events along the Mississippi River have had significant consequences for wild turkey populations within the Delta. Although most adult birds survived flood waters by moving to higher ground or treetops for extended periods; flood events during 2008, 2009, and 2011 all occurred during the spring nesting season. Wild turkeys nest on the ground; therefore, very little reproduction occurred in the Delta during these years. Conversely, reproduction was above average across the region during 2010.

MDWFP To Hold Wildlife Management Area Public Meetings
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is holding a series of six public meetings to discuss Wildlife Management Area (WMA) activities. The meetings will showcase regional WMA harvest data, habitat work, infrastructure improvements, and information about MDWFP. All WMA users, adjacent landowners, hunting clubs, and concerned citizens are invited to attend.

Crappie Tracking at Enid Lake
The location of the four-year cooperative crappie tracking project conducted by the University of Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) has moved from Sardis to Enid Lake. The goal is to learn more about the spawning areas of crappie in our local reservoirs.

Light Goose Conservation Order Resumes
JACKSON- Waterfowl hunters are reminded that even though the regular waterfowl season ends on January 29, additional light goose hunting opportunity will be available for late winter and early spring.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend: February 4th- February 5th
JACKSON- Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) would like to remind everyone of the youth waterfowl hunting weekend on February 4th - 5th, 2012.

Big Bucks for Mississippi in 2011
JACKSON - The early spring that occurred in 2011 was kind to many Mississippi deer hunters. William T. McKinley, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Deer Program Biologist said, “Recent research has shown that an early spring green-up allows deer more time to recover from the stress of the rut and cold winter, which helps deer devote more energy to body and antler growth.”

Abundant Acorn Crop Contributes to Reduced Deer Sightings in 2011
JACKSON – Mississippi’s 2011-2012 deer season has been interesting to say the least. Prior to the season, MDWFP Deer Program Biologists were concerned with meeting hunters’ expectations due to an abundant statewide acorn crop.

WMA Turkey Hunting Applications Available January 15
Beginning January 15th the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will begin accepting applications for turkey hunting on select Wildlife Management Areas.

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

Alabama Rig Illegal to Fish in Some Mississippi Lakes
JACKSON - The newest, hottest lure in bass fishing, the Alabama Rig, has generated much discussion regarding whether it is legal use in Mississippi waters.

2012 Youth Participation Initiative Squirrel Hunt
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is partnering with the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to host seven youth squirrel hunts throughout Mississippi on Saturday, February 11, 2012.

Mississippi Outdoors “A True South Experience” Set to Air Nationwide
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and the Mississippi Department of Tourism have partnered with the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation to produce Mississippi Outdoors TV

MDWFP and MDEQ Release Fish to Repopulate Lower Pearl River
JACKSON – Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) staff from the Meridian Fish Hatchery, accompanied by staff from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), released about 3,000 harvestable-sized channel catfish

Alligator Gar Stocked in Bee Lake
JACKSON - Recent flooding of the Mississippi River has allowed Asian carp access to many state waters. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has stocked alligator gar into Bee Lake

Small Game Season Offers Big Hunting Opportunities
JACKSON – With squirrel and rabbit hunting seasons opening, there are many opportunities to enjoy some time in the fall woods. For many hunters in Mississippi, small game hunting was their first hunting experience and it remains a popular pastime.

MDWFP Offers New Apprentice License
JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is now offering an Apprentice 3-Day Sportsman License for Mississippi residents. The license fee is $7.00 and includes All Game Hunting and Fishing, Fall and Spring Turkey Hunting, and Archery/Primitive Weapon privileges.

Cadets Graduate from MDWFP Law Enforcement Training Academy
JACKSON – After completing 12 weeks of training with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Conservation Officers, 11 cadets graduated from this year’s MDWFP Wildlife Law Enforcement Training Academy.

2011-12 Youth Participation Initiative Program Announced
Jackson – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) is pleased to announce that the Youth Participation Initiative (YPI) Program will be accepting applications beginning July 1, 2011, from organizations interested in helping MDWFP get more youth involved in the great outdoors.

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