Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
MDWFP Partners with MDEQ to Stock Pearl River
JACKSON - Approximately 14,000 lbs. of harvestable-sized blue
catfish will be released into the Pearl River near Picayune
(Walkiah Bluff) on Friday at 10 a.m., part of a continued recovery
effort by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and
Parks (MDWFP) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental
The catfish, donated by a Mississippi catfish producer, range
in weight from five to more than 20 lbs. They will be ready to
spawn next summer, said Curtis Summerlin, hatchery supervisor at
This marks the fourth stocking in the Pearl River since a 2011
equipment malfunction at Temple-Inland Paper Mill in Bogalusa, La.,
led to the accidental spillage of paper-making by-product into the
river. This spillage depleted oxygen and killed an estimated
219,000 fish and freshwater mussels. The kill stretched 80 miles of
the Pearl River, including about 40 miles bordering
The company has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine, $220,000 for
fish stocking and $45,000 to reimburse MDEQ for response and
To date, approximately 2,500 largemouth bass, 8,541 channel
catfish and 118,950 redear sunfish (shellcracker or chinquapin)
have been released in Pearl River. Additional fish will be stocked
as they become available from MDWFP fish hatcheries.
"Next year, these fish will be spawning and producing young
blue catfish to help replenish the numbers in the river," Summerlin
said. "It's our way of helping the Pearl River recover from this
MDEQ has instructed Temple-Inland to pay for infrastructure
upgrades as a condition of reopening.
"The fish kill in August was devastating in the lower Pearl
River, and we moved as quickly as possible with the enforcement
action and settlement to restock the river and begin the process of
bringing it back to a normal, healthy state," said Trudy D. Fisher,
MDEQ Executive Director.
Dr. Sam Polles, MDWFP Executive Director, said, "The recovery
of the lower Pearl River following last summer's fish kill is
extremely important. Our agencies are working diligently to produce
and stock fish needed for the river's recovery."
Find us on Facebook
& follow us on Twitter
Share with your friends!