Fisheries Ecology and Management

Scientists in fisheries ecology and management are studying how fish populations in south Mississippi streams evolve following hurricanes. In addition to tracking natural population processes, the study will determine the effects of supplemental stocking of game fish, primarily catfish and bass. Another study is focused on rebuilding artificial reefs offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. These reefs, which are important components of fisheries-based economic enterprise along the coast, were virtually wiped out during Hurricane Katrina. Donald Jackson, fisheries biologist, and graduate students under his direction, are determining the best way to set out artificial reef structure to enhance localized fisheries. A third project is exploring how weather-related events (such as hurricanes) that influence river discharge into the Gulf of Mexico, affect commercial shrimp populations. Mississippi State University