Hancock County oyster reef reopens - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock County oyster reef reopens

By sunrise about seven boats had already launched in Bay St. Louis for the St. Stanislaus reef.  (Image Source: WLOX News) By sunrise about seven boats had already launched in Bay St. Louis for the St. Stanislaus reef. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The St. Stainlaus reef will remain open until further notice. (Image Source: WLOX News) The St. Stainlaus reef will remain open until further notice. (Image Source: WLOX News)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

With just two days left in 2016, local oystermen have a final chance to tong for oysters.

The St. Stanislaus reef in Bay St. Louis opened on Friday, and several oystermen were there at sunrise to get their share after a rough year.

"It's been kind of hit and miss lately," said Christopher Hayes, an oyster fisherman from Carriere, Miss.

Hayes woke up bright and early to make the drive to Bay St. Louis. 

"Ironically, we had just gotten the motor tuned up. Just kind of on the fly called the DMR hotline to find out if they were open, and we said alright great we're going to go," said Hayes.

Department of Marine Resources set the sack limit at 15, but it's a little more than Hayes felt was possible.

"This particular reef is a little on the thin side. It's not like it was in the past when we would go out there to Pass Christian in the good times and get 15 no problem," added Hayes. "But. I'm not holding up too much hope."

Hayes has been tonging for oysters since 2004. While he admits it's been a tough year, it's not the worst he's seen.

"It's been a little bit rough. We've got a crabbing business to go ahead and make up the difference, but it definitely makes for a challenge," said Hayes.

Hayes doesn't go at it alone. It's a family affair. His 9-year-old son, Christopher, makes a good deckhand.

"He's going to go ahead and cull the oysters and check them for size and put them up in the sack, and if there's any dead ones he'll toss them over. All the small ones," said Hayes.

Even if Friday's harvest isn't as good as he hopes, the quality time spent with Christopher is worth it.

"We'll get what we get. The good Lord's gonna give us what he wants," said Hayes.

At 12:01 a.m., Sunday, Mississippi territorial waters will close to shrimping. The St. Stanislaus reef will remain open until further notice.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Actress arrested in sex trafficking in 'guru to stars' case

    Actress arrested in sex trafficking in 'guru to stars' case

    Friday, April 20 2018 4:13 PM EDT2018-04-20 20:13:13 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 9:34 PM EDT2018-04-21 01:34:45 GMT
    (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, File). FILE - This June 26, 2012, file photo shows television actress Allison Mack at a party in Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors say television actress Allison Mack, from "Smallville" has been charged with sex tr...(Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, File). FILE - This June 26, 2012, file photo shows television actress Allison Mack at a party in Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors say television actress Allison Mack, from "Smallville" has been charged with sex tr...
    Federal prosecutors say a television actress best known for playing a young Superman's close friend has been charged with sex trafficking for helping recruit women to be slaves of a man who sold himself as a...More >>
    Federal prosecutors say a television actress best known for playing a young Superman's close friend has been charged with sex trafficking for helping recruit women to be slaves of a man who sold himself as a self-improvement guru.More >>
  • Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson delights high school girl with prom surprise

    Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson delights high school girl with prom surprise

    Friday, April 20 2018 5:35 PM EDT2018-04-20 21:35:23 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 5:35 PM EDT2018-04-20 21:35:23 GMT
    Katie Kelzenberg invited the Hollywood star to her prom next month. (Source: Vianney Le Caer/AP)Katie Kelzenberg invited the Hollywood star to her prom next month. (Source: Vianney Le Caer/AP)

    Katie Kelzenberg invited the Hollywood star to her prom next month.

    More >>

    Katie Kelzenberg invited the Hollywood star to her prom next month.

    More >>
  • Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Friday, April 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-04-20 13:33:09 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 9:14 PM EDT2018-04-21 01:14:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - This Aug. 11, 2017, file photo shows a sign at a Wells Fargo bank location in Philadelphia. The New York Times and other news outlets are reporting Thursday, April 19, 2018, that federal regulators plan to fine Well...

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

    More >>

    Wells Fargo fined a combined $1 billion by federal regulators for abuses tied to its mortgage and auto lending businesses.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly