JACKSON – The Mississippi River Harvest Zone, which is the first area open during the 2016 – 2017 Mississippi Paddlefish egg harvest season, opens on November 20, 2016 and closes December 31, 2016. This zone includes all of the public waters between the main line levees of the Mississippi River along the Mississippi-Arkansas border.
From January 1 to February 28, 2017, the Yazoo River Basin Harvest Zone will be open. This zone includes Bear Creek, the Sunflower, Coldwater, Tallahatchie, and Yazoo Rivers, however, some public waters within this zone are closed to paddlefish harvest. Fishermen are encouraged to call the MDWFP Fisheries Bureau office at (601) 432-2200 or visit our website at www.mdwfp.com to learn which areas are closed. The Mississippi River Harvest Zone will reopen on March 1 and run through April 10, 2017.
Special paddlefish permits are required to participate in this fishery, and people interested in harvesting paddlefish were required to attend a meeting to review the rules regarding seasons, harvest gear, processing and reporting requirements. Paddlefish are commercially caught in gill or trammel nets and are valued for their eggs, which are processed into caviar.
“This is a unique and highly regulated fishery,” said Darrin Hardesty, MDWFP Commercial Fisheries Biologist. “Our goal is to allow harvest of paddlefish while maintaining healthy and sustainable paddlefish populations.”
For more information regarding fishing in Mississippi visit our website at www.mdwfp.com or call us at (601) 432-2212. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.