16-43-CWS | June 17, 2019
BILOXI, Miss. – Commissioner Shelby Drummond will take his last vote as a commissioner Tuesday after serving on the Commission on Marine Resources for 12 years.
Drummond was appointed to the CMR in 2004 by then-Gov. Haley Barbour. He was reappointed in 2008 and 2012. Drummond lives in Jackson County and represents recreational fishermen on the five-member Commission, which oversees the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
“We really have had some good years, but we’ve had some sad years,” Drummond said, citing Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the BP Oil Spill in 2010.
He believes, though, that the MDMR is operating better now than it ever has.
“There’s nothing like having good management, and that’s what we have at DMR,” he said. “I’m proud of that. I like the way things are going now.”
MDMR Executive Director Jamie Miller thanked Drummond for his service.
“Shelby Drummond has been an asset to the CMR during his 12-year tenure,” he said. “He represented the recreational fishing industry well, but also considered other stakeholders when making decisions.
“We will miss his knowledge and also the wit he brought to the CMR meetings.”
Drummond, 79, was born in the Delta and graduated from Delta State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. He served in the U.S. Army and also attended graduate school at the University of Mississippi.
Drummond moved to the Coast in 1962 and worked for the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, the predecessor to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. One of Drummond’s responsibilities was to survey the Menhaden industry from Texas to New Jersey.
He retired from NOAA in 2003 and was appointed to the CMR the next year, the same year as Richard Gollott, who currently chairs the Commission and represents seafood processors. The two are the longest-serving commissioners.
Gollott said one of his fondest memories is the public hearings CMR had on changing the size of Speckled Trout. Jackson County wanted to keep a 14-inch trout; while Harrison County wanted to keep a 13-inch trout.
“Shelby called me all bent out of shape and said his Jackson County fishermen were giving him a hard time,” Gollott said. “I explained to Shelby that they should be happy that they got exactly what they wanted.”
The Commission voted to let both counties keep a 13-inch trout, but Drummond voted against the measure.
A few months later, the two went on a fishing trip at Delacroix Island in Louisiana, where the limit was a 12-inch trout.
“I had put about six nice 13-inch trout in the ice box while watching Shelby out of the corner of my eye,” Gollott recalled. “It was right about then that he landed a nice 13-inch trout. I waited until he had put it in the ice chest and said, ‘Oh, we’re keeping small trout now.”
“That is one of my favorite Shelby Drummond stories,” Gollott said. “It has been a pleasure serving with Shelby.”
Drummond, though, said if it weren’t for him, Gollott wouldn’t even know how to catch that fish.
“It was a challenge, but I finally taught him how to catch Speckled Trout,” Drummond said, laughing. “It took a while, but he’s pretty good now.”
Drummond said he’s proud of the things the CMR accomplished during his tenure, but he wanted to do more.
“I was instrumental in getting regulations passed on Triple Tail and Speckled Trout,” he said. “But I wanted to get an oyster fishery started in Jackson County because we had one years ago. Maybe we can get to a point where we can do that again.”
The Commission is made up of five members who represent recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen, commercial seafood processors, non-profit environmental groups and charter boat operators.
Drummond said it sometimes is a challenge to get everyone to agree, but over the years he has worked with good people.
“The Commission is made up of folks with different backgrounds, and it’s a composite of what we have on the Coast.”
Photo courtesy Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Shelby Drummond will serve at his final CMR meeting Tuesday, June 21
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.