Speckled Trout fishing could be put on hold
Fishing of speckled trout on the Gulf Coast could be coming to a temporary halt within the next few weeks.
The spotted sea trout is making waves with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and local fishermen. On Friday, the DMR held a special session to discuss potential management measures for the fish. DMR Executive Director Joe Spraggins said, “The commission gave me the authority with science and the Department of Marine Resources and determine whether or not there is an influx of fish, mainly speckled trout, that are moving into an area. If they are then what area and if they are in a mass influx then to be able to shut down the fisheries from there to be able to save the species.”
This means that the DMR could put a temporary hold on the spotted sea trout fishing season. They want to conserve the fish due to them being over-fished in past years. “We see that if there is a large influx of the fish coming to a certain point and people are fishing with nets or hook and line then we could very much take a lot more fish than we would need to take at that point.”
But not everyone is happy with this decision, local commercial fishermen showed up to the meeting to voice their concerns. Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United Executive Director Ryan Bradley said, “It would be a pretty adverse economic impact to the state of Mississippi to the recreational fishers and to the commercial fishers. It would eliminate access to the restaurants and to the average consumer that wants to consume spotted sea trout.”
As of now, the DMR doesn’t know how long a potential shut down could last, but many local fisherman are hoping it doesn’t happen at all. Commercial fisherman Chris Rhodes said, “I just hope that the commercial industry, it is a part of Biloxi and that it continues to strive. Recently, we have been heavily regulated and we just need a break.”