Bait Fish Regulation Change Proposed for Dam Spillway Areas

JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) Fisheries Bureau announced a proposed rule regarding the handling and storage of bait fish captured in dam spillway areas. The proposed rule requires that legal fish caught for bait with dip or landing nets, cast nets, boat mounted scoops, wire baskets, minnow seines, and minnow traps must be placed immediately on ice or in a dry container.  The spillway is the area immediately below a dam, and this rule applies to anglers fishing below Arkabutla, Enid, Grenada, Sardis, Ross Barnett, Ross Barnett low-head, Okatibbee, Aberdeen, Columbus and Bluff Lake dams.

“This rule is being proposed to prevent the spread of live nonnative fish species like Silver Carp and Bighead Carp to new waters,” said MDWFP Fisheries Coordinator, Dennis Riecke.  “Since these fish are difficult to distinguish from shad when small, they could be introduced into new waters when used or discarded as live bait. We don’t want them to impact the valuable crappie fisheries in our flood control reservoirs or affect recreational boating and fishing on other popular water bodies.”

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed change may do so in writing to the Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, 1505 Eastover Dr., Jackson, MS 39211, no later than April 26, 2017.

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