The opening date of the 2001-2002 Mississippi Oyster Season has been announced by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
The following areas will open Monday, October 1, 2001, at legal sunrise for the harvest of oysters:
• Area I "B" Conditionally Approved Waters, which includes St. Joseph's or "St. Joe" reef.
• Area II Approved waters, which includes Telegraph and Buoy reefs, the Shell Keys referred to as Pelican, Fletcher's and Umbrella, and the southern portion of Pass Marianne Reef.
• Area II "A" Conditionally approved waters, which includes northern portions of the Henderson Point Reef and northern portions of the Pass Christian Reef.
• Area II "B" Conditionally approved waters, which includes Waveland and St. Stanislaus reefs
• Area II "C" Conditionally approved waters, which includes the northern portion of Pass Marianne Reef and southern portions of the Pass Christian and Henderson Point reefs.
• Area II "D" Conditionally approved waters, which includes the public oyster reefs in St. Louis Bay between the Highway 90 bridge and the CSX Railroad Bridge.
• Area III Conditionally approved waters, which includes Kittiwake (Long Beach) reef
• Area VIII "B" Conditionally approved waters, which includes the South Rigolets, L'Isle Chaude, Jose Bayou, eastern portions of the North Rigolets, eastern portions of Southwest Bayou, eastern portions of Clay Bayou, eastern portions of Middle Bayou, the eastern portion of Jose Bay and eastern portion of Point Aux Chenes bay.
For Areas I, II and III waters, the designated check stations will be the DMR trailer on the east side of the Pass Christian Harbor or the DMR check station at Bayou caddy.
Check in/check out boxes will be located at each of these check stations and shall correspond respectively with the drop box.
For Area VIII "B" waters, the designated check stations will be the DMR office on Old Stage Road in the Orange Grove Community east of Pascagoula. Check station check out times shall be 4pm daily. This time may change if necessary.
All 2000 and 2001 shell plant or cultch plant areas will remain closed to the harvest of oysters due to a high percentage of sub legal size oysters.
Commercial sack limits will be 30 sacks per day for tonging, dredging or any other manner. Commercial harvesters are limited to three sacks for personal use per week. (These sacks shall be counted toward the daily commercial sack limit for that boat or vessel.)