Ocean Springs Harbor Experiencing New Flood

"Yeah, we're very busy," Ocean Springs Harbor Master Johnny Hughes says.

Hughes never thought Ocean Springs harbor would ever become so popular. The old shrimping marina is now jammed packed with sport boats from all over the coast.

"We have boats here from Waveland, Gulfport, Biloxi," Hughes says.

Long-time commercial fisherman Randy Wilson says it's packed here because no other harbor has power.

"They ain't got electricity in Biloxi or Gulfport. Matter of fact, they aren't even letting boats in Gulfport," Wilson says.

John Hambsch is one of the newcomers. He took his Free Spirit III out of Point Cadet Harbor.

"It's running, but it's very hard to get to because you've got to take I-110," Hambsch says.

Something else that's changed since Katrina, Hughes says more people use the public boat ramp than ever before.

"You can tell by the parking lot, it's pretty much filled up already," Hughes says.

But Hughes says, this is nothing. Come down here any Saturday afternoon when the weather is nice, and trucks with trailers will be parked all the way down Front Beach and up Washington Avenue.

"We seem to be getting a lot of business here, because boat ramps are closed in other counties," Hughes says.

Though it's nice to see people getting out enjoying the water, Hughes says, there's really not enough room for everyone.

"We've had a little bit of everything. Domestic disputes, fights with people trying to get to the boat ramps," Hughes says.

"There's too many people down here. Most of the times, weekends, you can't hardly get a parking spot," Wilson says.

With summer fast approaching, Hughes doesn't think it'll let up anytime soon. Harbor Master Johnny Hughes says as 174 boat slips are taken right now and there's a list of 100 people waiting for one. Hughes wants to remind folks that there are 11 other public boat ramps in Jackson County.

  • Ocean Springs Beach and Harbor Ramp
  • Choctaw Marina Boat Ramp
  • Hwy 63 Bridge Boat Ramp
  • I-10 Bridge Boat Ramp
  • Roy Cumbest Bridge Boat Ramp (Wade-Vancleave Road)
  • Ward Bayou Boat Ramp
  • Brittany Road Boat Ramp
  • Old Fort Bayou Boat Ramp
  • Gulf Park Estates Boat Ramp
  • Octavia Boat Ramp
  • Hwy 90 Bridge Boat Ramp (Pascagoula)
  • Old Spanish Fort/Lake Avenue Boat Ramp (Pascagoula)