DMR reopens conditional oyster reefs
Two oyster reefs opened at sunrise Thursday and two more are slated to open Friday, the state Department of Marine Resources announced.
The two areas conditionally approved to open Friday are Area II A, including the northern portion of the Pass Christian and Henderson Point reefs as well as Hornets Reef, and Area II B, which includes the Waveland and St. Stanislaus reefs.
They should open at sunrise, officials said.
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Opened Thursday were Area II E, which includes Square Handkerchief reef and the southern portion of Henderson reef and Area II F, which includes southern portions of Pass Christian reef.
"After months of being closed, I am happy to announce Mississippi's oyster season will open again," DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller said. "This has been another difficult year for our oyster industry, but DMR remains committed to enhancing the resource moving forward for the benefit of everyone in the industry."
All reefs had been closed since Dec. 11 because of a large red tide algae bloom in the Mississippi Sound north of the barrier islands.
Large amounts of rain in December and January delayed reopening of the season. DMR officials said they had been monitoring the Pearl River and waiting for it to crest before allowing oystermen back on the reefs.
A water sample taken Monday did not meet DMR regulations, but one taken Tuesday showed conditions were conducive to reopen selective reefs.