PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Oystermen eager to see what the 2010 season will bring will get their chance Wednesday when the Department of Marine Resources conducts its annual oyster reef tour.
Each year, prior to the opening of the Mississippi oyster season, the Mississippi Department of Marine takes oyster tongers, dredgers and dealers out for a look at the reefs. The group will be aboard the DMR vessel The Conservationist. A dredge on board will pull up oyster samples to get a general look at the supply and to collect oyster meat samples that will be tested by the seafood safety sampling program.
It's been a summer of bad news and bad business for those who make their livings harvesting seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing, shrimping and crabbing are open again, after weeks of shutdown due to the BP oil spill.
Scientists have said all that seafood is now safe. Test on oysters show they too are safe, but the season is not open yet. DMR will conduct two days of testing.
Steve Phillips left on the trip Wednesday morning from the Pass Christian Harbor. Stay connected with WLOX.com and WLOX News for his updates on the prospects for the upcoming oyster season.