The use of certain fishing gear and/or the selling of non-game
gross fish are activities regulated under the authority of
commercial fishing regulations.
Non-Game Gross Fish
The category of fishes listed as non-game gross fish are a
valuable resource, supplying protein, income and enjoyment. These
fish are sometimes referred to as rough fish. They consist of
catfishes, buffalo fishes, paddlefish (spoonbill catfish), carp,
shad, gar, drum, and several species of minnows. Non-game gross
fish can be sold by persons having a commercial fishing
Commercial Fishing Gear
Non-game gross fish can be harvested using traditional sport
fishing gear, but they can also be caught using commercial fishing
gear, such as, gill nets, trammel nets, hoop nets, slat boxes, and
trotlines. A person must have a commercial fishing license to fish
commercial fishing gear. Although a trotline can be fished on a
sport license, a commercial license is needed when fishing more
than 100 hooks in aggregate or to sell fish.
Two companies in Mississippi are buying the invasive Asian Carp
and need commercial fisherman to harvest these species. If you want
more information call Dennis Riecke at (601) 432-2207.
Recent Changes to Commercial Fishing
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
Commission has adopted new rules concerning commercial
fishing. The rule change is necessary to have some regulations
consistent with recent changes by the legislature in the statutes
dealing with commercial fishing. To see a
copy of the rules click here. Recent rule changes are:
- The minimum slat width on slat baskets shall be 1 ¼
- Commercial fishing equipment will be TAGGED by a
water proof tag that has the fisherman's
MDWFP # on the tag. Persons fishing hoop nets, gill nets,
trammel nets, commercial trotlines, crawfish traps, shrimp traps,
and slat baskets will no longer have to purchase a tag from MDWFP.
A valid tag for commercial fishing gear can be (a) a waterproof tag
supplied by the fisherman with the owner's MDWFP #; (b)
tags sold by MDWFP after June 25, 2012 - tags where the owner
had to engrave their MDWFP # on the tag; or (c) old MDWFP
Commercial Fishing Equipment Tags sold prior to June 25, 2012
made valid by the gear owner flipping these metal tags over
and engraving thier MDWFP # on what used to be the back-side of the
tag. The MDWFP # can be found on one's license above the Date of
Birth: It is a number unique to each customer of the MDWFP.
For any tag to be valid the MDWFP # number on the tag needs to be
legible and at least 1/4 " in height. The
MDWFP # number can be engraved or written with a waterproof
marker. Commercial Fishing Equipment Tags will still
be available at MDWFP offices and state parks while supplies
last. A slat basket license will stil be needed for each slat
basket that a person fishes.
- Persons with commercial fishing license may fish a trap
for freshwater shrimp.
- Waters open to the harvest of paddlefish for roe are closed to
all other gill net or trammel net fishing (this
regulation will not apply to Mississippi River).
- There is no license exemptions for those helping a person
with a commercial fishing license fish commercial fishing
gear: A person holding a Freshwater Commercial Fishing
License can be assisted by a helper who has any valid license
issued by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries
A commercial fishing license is needed to:
- Sell nongame gross fish and non-native fish
- Fish commercial fishing gear
- Harvest minnows from public waters
- Sell minnows at whole sale
- Raise non-game wildlife in captivity
- Cost: $30 resident, $200 non-resident.,
- Special permits required for paddlefish harvest
- Slat basket license (needed for each basket/box) $30
- Commercial fishing licenses are sold at any MDWFP Regional
Office; at any State Park; North MS Fish Hatchery, and the MDWFP
Office in Jackson. Commercial fishing licenses can also be
purchased by mail.
Application for Commercial Fishing License
Rules & Regulations
The Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
recently passed final Rules for the commercial harvest of
paddlefish for the 2015-2016 egg harvest season. The
final Rules can be viewed at www.mdwfp.com/administration/rules/rules-(final).aspx.
Paddlefish Application Information for Paddlefish