Commissioners will vote on new commercial fishing regulations this week

Published 12:30 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

JACKSON — Commissioners of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will meet Thursday morning in a regularly scheduled meeting. New commercial fishing regulations will be up for discussion and a vote. 

Commissioners meet once a month with a business session and at times an educational session prior to the meeting. No educational session is planned for the meeting held at JP Coleman State Park. 

Jason Thompson, Director of Administrative Services, will open the meeting in prayer and present on the license sales report as he does each month. Chairman Bill Cossar often states that 90 percent of the MDWFP budget is funded by license sales and other revenue. 

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Jerry Brown, director of fisheries, will present a final rule for commercial fishing regulations. The commission will then vote on the new regulation. 

This new regulation would allow for commercial fishermen to use wire reinforced catfish nets in Mississippi. Brown said at the August commission meeting that the nets are currently used in neighboring  Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. 

Another caveat to the new proposed regulations is the ban of selling sturgeon or parts of sturgeon. The new rule states “The harvest and/or possession, sale or attempted sale of any Sturgeon species, or any Sturgeon part,” is prohibited in Mississippi. 

“Their eggs are being used and sold as caviar in some places,” Brown said at the meeting last month. 

Col. Jerry Carter, chief of law enforcement, will provide an update for the previous month’s leading citations and other law enforcement matters. He will likely provide information about enforcement efforts for the dove season opener on Labor Day weekend. 

Anyone who is not able to drive to Iuka, Mississippi to attend the meeting can watch it online starting at 9 a.m. Thursday. 

Commissioners will not meet again until October 12 in Waveland. Waterfowl Program Director Houston Havens is expected to provide waterfowl updates and project proposals for duck stamp funding at the October meeting.