Mississippi Oyster Season Opens Early for Local Oystermen

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Raw, fried, grilled or stuffed… oysters are coastal favorite for people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but a way of life for our local oystermen.

Yesterday, oyster season in the western portion of the Mississippi Sound began at legal sunrise. However, this led to mixed results for Mississippi oystermen on day one. The Department of Marine Resources moved the season up to give oystermen a competitive edge.

The state Department of Marine Resources said the Commission on Marine Resources originally set the start date for Monday, Nov. 13. However, oyster seasons in Louisiana and Texas are scheduled to begin that day, and MDMR officials believe that by opening earlier, local fishermen will make more money per sack. There is a lot of stake at risk for those depending on the fall season. 

At the September meeting, commissioners approved a 30 percent quota limit for these reefs in order to help rebuild them, and that remains in effect. The daily limit for tonging is 15 sacks, and the limit for dredging is 20 sacks. 

With the western sound open for oystering, most of the boats are on the far west end of the coast near Bayou Caddy. Then, they’ll bring the oysters over to the Pass Christian Harbor.

The season is important for a lot of oystermen and businesses who serve the delicacy on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “It’s unbelievably vital to us as a local business to be able to serve local oysters. I truly believe we have the best seafood in the country right here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and now we can showcase that to locals and tourists alike”, says Chef Rob Stinson, owner of Biloxi’s own, The Reef. 

For more information, call the MDMR Oyster Hotline at 228-374-5167 or 1-800-385-5902 or visit their website here.

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Written by Chelsea Gee

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