PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - This is a busy morning on the seafood docks in Pass Christian. That's because Mississippi oyster season reopened for the first time since Dec. 11.
By late morning, several oyster boats were lined up to unload their harvest. Most all of them brought in the daily limit of 15 sacks for tongers and 25 sacks for dredgers.
"We're definitely happy to be back at work," said longtime fisherman John Livings. "But they need to take a closer look at the criteria that regulates the season. We can't afford to be shut down for months at a time."
Ted Gillespie is an oysterman from Alabama. He waited patiently behind two other boats to offload his sacks.
"Just glad to be back at work," said the smiling fisherman.
You'll recall that red tide concerns prompted the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to close the season in early December. Then, the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and excessive rainfall also had a negative impact on the season.
Most everyone on the docks was happy to be busy again.
"I'll sleep good tonight," said one young man at Jerry Forte Seafood, which was busy all morning stacking the heavy sacks of oysters.
Wayne Hicks of Biloxi was happy today also. He loves eating fresh Mississippi oysters and bought two sacks right off the boat today.
"Those should last me at least a week," Hicks said as he closed the lid on his ice chest.