MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) - An early start to the oyster season produced mixed results for Mississippi oystermen on day one. The Department of Marine Resources moved the season up to give oystermen a competitive edge.
Oyster season in the western Mississippi Sound began at sunrise. By noon, the boats started coming in to the Pass Christian Harbor.
The Commission on Marine Resources set the date for Nov. 6 so these oystermen could get a jump on oyster seasons in Texas and Louisiana.
A lot is on the line for those depending on the fall season.
"This is my life. If they don't open the season, we don't have Thanksgiving or Christmas. We have bills, and if you don't get paid, we start losing things. I'm glad there's some kind of life out there for us," said George Livings.
Commissioners approved a 30 percent quota limit to help reefs replenish themselves. The daily limit for dredging is 20 sacks. For tonging, the maximum is 15 sacks.
George Storres tonged near the Bay St. Louis Bridge and came up a little short, pulling up only five sacks. He's hoping for the best.
"The only light we're going to get out of this tunnel is if the price is good. I don't know what it is yet, but we'll find out," said Storres.
With the western sound open for oystering, most of the boats are on the far west end of the coast near Bayou Caddy. They then bring the oysters over to the Pass Christian Harbor.
Some oysters were offloaded at Pass Purchasing and Jerry Forte Seafood. Others were sold to Kimball's Seafood.
Darlene Kimball: "Everyone has been waiting very patiently for it. The holidays are coming, and everyone wants their oysters for Thanksgiving," said Darlene Kimball, with Kimball's Seafood. "I'm glad it has opened, and I'm hoping we have a good season. It'll probably be a short season, but I'll take what I can get."
According to DMR, 400 sacks of oysters were brought in from reefs near Bayou Caddy, and 350 sacks were brought in to Pass Christian.