Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Rules for State Record Fish

  1. Fish must be caught on rod, reel and line, or pole and line, and hooked with any legal hook or lure.
  2. Fish must be weighed in the presence of MDWFP personnel on certified scales or scales legal for trade. The weighing must witnessed by others, who MUST sign the application form. No provision for weight loss will be allowed. The actual weight of the fish AT THE TIME OF WEIGHING will be the OFFICIAL WEIGHT. It is desired (but not mandatory) to have signature(s) on the application form of witness(es), if any, to the actual catching of the fish.
  3. Two (2) photographs (preferably in color) should be taken of the proposed record fish. A. One (1) of the angler and fish. B. One (1) showing a clear, close up side view of only the fish.
  4. Length of the fish must be measured using a flatboard and with fish mouth closed, from tip of snout to tip of tail (with tail squeezed together to give longest possible measurement) which gives the maximum overall measurement. Fork length measurement should also be taken from the tip of shout to the fork of the tail. (See diagram on application)
  5. Girth of the fish will be measured around the thickest portion of the body. (See diagram)
  6. Applications for black bass, crappie, and sunfish MUST be positively identified AND verified by a Professional Fisheries Biologist with the MDWFP.
  7. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks reserves the right to further check fish identification or verification of witnesses and to refuse any application that is questionable. It will be considered "just cause" for disqualification of current application and any previous records established by anyone who knowingly falsifies a record fish application.

If the rules are not clear, PLEASE reread them.


Record Fish Applications

All rules will be strictly adhered to!
The decision of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will be final.

Return To:
MDWFP Fisheries Bureau
1505 Eastover Dr.
Jackson, Mississippi 39211-6374

Dennis Riecke, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist

Historically, walleye were collected from the Mississippi and Pearl Rivers. They may have existed in other river systems, but these are the documented locations with those fish in museum collections. In the book "The Inland Fishes of Mississippi," Dr. Stephen Ross states that walleye were reportedly common in the 1950's. Today, walleye are only found in the northeast part of the state. We know that they are genetically unique from every other strain in the nation. These Southern Strain of walleye are found in the Mobile River drainage in Mississippi and Alabama. We have been spawning and stocking them for years in the creeks around Columbus, MS. These fish don't live more than six years, are not common, and are restricted in their range. Some years ago, someone petitioned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to declare this race of fish "endangered," but not enough information existed to do so.

The state fish is the largemouth bass.

There are 3 fish species found only within the state of Mississippi and nowhere else in the world. They are:  bayou darter, found in the Bayou Pierre system south of Vicksburg; Yazoo shiner and Yazoo darter, both found in the streams of the Yazoo river drainage in northwest Mississippi. A (2001) book, "Inland Fishes of Mississippi" by Stephen T. Ross, provides color photographs and a wealth of information on the 288 species of freshwater fishes in Mississippi.

Dennis Riecke, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist

The Magnolia crappie is a triploid hybrid cross between a black-striped black crappie (a scarce color variation of the black crappie) and a white crappie. This fish has a black stripe running from the front of the dorsal fin along the top of the body, normally extending through the to the upper jaw. The eggs and milt are stripped, hand mixed, and the eggs are placed in a pressure chamber causing triploidy - the development of 3 sets of chromosomes. The resulting fish is sterile because it has 3 sets of chromosomes. Because they can't reproduce, they have been stocked into some smaller water bodies like Lake Charlie Capps where fertile crappie would overproduce and few would grow to a harvestable size due to a lack of enough food.

Dennis Riecke, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist.

Anyone may fish along the Gulf Coast on July 4th each year in waters south of I-10 without a saltwater fishing license. Those who have purchased a Lifetime Sportsman's License do not need to ever purchase a saltwater fishing. During the first weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of National Fishing and Boating Week, usually the first week of June, fishing permits are not required MDWFP State Fishing Lakes and State Parks and state wide fishing licenses are not required.

Click on the link below for freshwater fishing guides in MS.

MS Freshwater Fishing Guides


Generally, crappie in Mississippi spawn from March 15 - April 15, but it depends on water temperature. 60° - 68° F is their preferred spawning temperature. The big fish usually spawn before the small fish. Sometimes 10 - 60 fish will be in a small area spawning. The male fish get darker as the amount of black pigment on them increases.

No. Trout are not native to Mississippi. Trout stocked into private ponds provide a seasonal fishery during the winter months. A state record rainbow trout is acknowledged but this fish crossed the Mississippi River from Arkansas, during drought conditions, into Lake Whittington.

No. Everything, we raise at the NMFH is for public stocking only. For information on stocking, see this information compiled by the MDWFP and Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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