16-73-MMS| October 28, 2016
BILOXI, Miss. – For the first time in at least 40 years, the Biloxi Bay will open for oyster harvesting.
Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources said reefs in this portion of the Mississippi Sound will open at legal sunrise Tuesday, Nov. 1, for oyster tonging only. No dredging will be allowed.
The state Commission on Marine Resources approved the opening at its October meeting. The sack limit is 15 per day.
“The harvest of oysters for the first time in 40-plus years in Biloxi Bay is nothing less than historic,” said Jamie Miller, executive director of MDMR. “The opening of these oyster reefs confirms water quality has improved in the Bay, and we hope everyone will celebrate by enjoying some Mississippi oysters.”
On Friday, Oct. 28, reefs closed in the western part of the Sound near Pass Christian because fishermen reached the quota of 27,944 sacks. Those reefs opened Oct. 3.
MDMR officials reminded fishermen that artificial reefs will not be open for oyster harvesting and have been marked for easy identification. MDMR will have a check station in the Ocean Springs Harbor for fishermen to check in and out each day.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.