The Fisheries Bureau is responsible for managing sport fish
populations in public waters throughout the state. To meet stocking
needs, we own and operate two hatcheries: Turcotte Hatchery in
Canton and the North Mississippi Hatchery in Enid. Based on annual
fish population sampling, biologists submit requests for species,
number, and sizes. It is the responsiblity of the assigned hatchery
to produce high quality, disease-free fingerlings.
Not every system benefits from stocking, but stocking to
achieve specific management goals is effective. Fish are stocked to
meet the following objectives:
- Establish sport fish populations in new or renovated
- Restore sport fish populations following natural or man-induced
- Introduce new species to enhance or establish a new fishery.
Care is taken to not adversely impact threatened or endangered
- Enhance year-class strength and recruitment of existing fish
- Enhance harvest potential through put-grow-and-take stocking,
for example our Community Assistance Program ponds and channel
catfish stocking in our state lakes.
Up to 15 species are reared in the Bureau's 29 acres
of production ponds in any given year.
Major emphasis is placed on producing:
- Florida strain largemouth bass. The brood stock we use are
offspring of fish from the Waleka National Fish Hatchery in
Florida. The current largemouth bass record of 18.15 pounds from
Natchez State Park, produced at Lyman Fish Hatchery, came from
Richloam Hatchery stock.
- Crappie - white, black and our very own triploid hybrid - the
Magnolia crappie. The Magnolia is a cross between a blackstripe
black crappie and a white crappie. The fertilized eggs are pressure
treated to cause the formation of three sets of chromosomes per
cell. This makes the fish sterile.
- Bluegill and redear sunfish.
- Northern strain of largemouth bass.
- The Gulf of Mexico strain striped bass and hybrid striped bass,
a cross between the white bass and the striped bass. Mississippi
participates in the Gulf States recovery effort of the Gulf striped
- Other fish produced are the southern walleye, alligator gar,
blue, channel and flathead catfish and paddlefish.
MS Fish Hatcheries