Mississippi oyster reefs open today

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has announced the opening of Areas II “A” and II “C” Conditionally Approved Waters to the harvest of oysters, effective today at legal sunrise.

• Area II “A” Conditionally Approved Waters including the tonging reefs of Pass Christian, Hornets Reef and Henderson Point.

• Area II “C” Conditionally Approved Waters and its subdivisions of II “E” (including Square Handkerchief reef and southern portions of Henderson Point reef), II “F” (including southern portions of the Pass Christian reef) and II “G” (including northern portions of the Pass Marianne and Telegraph reefs).

All other Mississippi waters remain closed to oyster harvest.

Harvesters must check in on notification slips at drop-boxes located at one of the designated check stations at Pass Christian Harbor or Bayou Caddy.

Beginning today the checkout time for all oyster harvesters will change to 3 p.m. All harvesters must be off the reefs and checked out prior to 3 p.m.

Additionally, all oysters harvested for the day will now have up to three hours after they are checked out to be placed under mechanical refrigeration.

The daily commercial vessel sack limit is 25 sacks for dredging and 20 sacks for tonging. Recreational harvesters are limited to 3 sacks per seven-day period. All other current rules and regulations will remain in effect.