Oyster season begins in the western portion of the Mississippi Sound
Get your fresh Gulf oysters today as the season opens in the western portion of the Mississippi Sound.
News 25’s Toni Miles was there when the season legally opened at sunrise this morning and shows us why leaders with the Department of Marine Resources decided to open the season one week early.
Now you can add fresh Gulf oysters to the menu since oyster season in this part of the Mississippi Sound opened at Sunrise Monday. DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller said, “We opened the western Sound to our fishermen for dredging and for tonging. We pushed the season back a little bit this year. We normally start in October. We started in November this year to try to fulfill what we think is the holiday rush for Thanksgiving leading into Christmas.”
The season was set to begin Monday, November 13th, but the DMR pushed the opening up a week, which is good news for local fishermen and people looking to buy oysters. Melissa Scallan with the Department of Marine Resources said, “We are seeing lower amounts of oysters, lower numbers across the gulf states, so we wanted to give our fishermen a head start over some of the other states. Hopefully, they can get the best prices for their oysters.”
Texas and Louisiana are set to open their oyster season next Monday. Mississippi fishermen are getting a head start. They will continue to harvest oysters until the 30 percent quota per area is met, a quota set by the DMR to help in the rebuilding of our area’s oyster reefs.
Just how long will the season last? DMR Director of Marine Life Fisheries Joe Jewell said, “It’s kind of variable. It depends on how many fishermen are out, how successful they are in meeting their individual quotas, equipment and weather, a lot of things. We’re anticipating the areas that have the most abundant oysters to be open a week or so.”
Whether you’re a local or visitor, getting fresh Gulf oysters takes a simple walk down the Pass Christian Harbor or stop by your local seafood market in Biloxi, Bay St. Louis, and beyond. “Prices are going to be high this year, so if you want oysters, be ready to pay for them. It’s good for our fishermen, not always great for the consumers, but what you can count on is the quality of the Mississippi oyster. They’re going to be really good,” said Miller.