Mississippi DMR and Oyster Council: 🎢 M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E 🎢

There was a public hearing on the much promoted DMR Oyster Aquaculture Program in Pass Christian last night and although I did not attend Slabbed had someone in the audience taking notes that estimated attendance at around 100 people with 25 people addressing the assemblage of Commissioners and DMR employees. Not a single person spoke out in favor of the plan to allow an oyster farm in the Bay of St Louis between the CSX and US 90 bridges. Terese Collins and Chris Lagarde get singled out for the overall quality of their comments in opposition to the plan, which is the product of the DMR Oyster Council’s work.

But before I go any further we need to stop and point something out that was missing from the DMR public relations rollout of the plan that we saw in the local media a month or so ago and that would be section 49-15-315 of the Mississippi Code:

(1) It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to engage in commercial harvesting of crabs, oysters, shrimp, bait shrimp or saltwater fish in the marine waters north of the CSX bridge in the three (3) coastal counties, except for the following:

(a) A person may take any euryhaline species of minnow; and

(b) A licensed commercial oyster fisherman may harvest oysters from reefs approved by the commission.

(2) The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory shall study all estuaries and bays deemed to be nurseries. The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory may recommend the establishment of nursery grounds in the estuaries and bays if necessary to protect the state’s fishing resources.

(3) The department shall set the limits on all catches for noncommercial use.

It appears the DMR Oyster Aquaculture plan was conceived and sites were chosen without first checking the laws already on the books.

38 thoughts on “Mississippi DMR and Oyster Council: 🎢 M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E 🎢”

  1. MDMR should not waste nor expend any funds or effort to expand into the realm of oyster aquaculture until such time as they have gotten a compentent handle on the administration and management of their current oyster programs. All of their funding and efforts should be directed towards improving water quality and management of our natural and manmade oyster reef areas, such that our fishermen may harvest daily and our processors, dealers and consumers may depend on a steady and safe supply of oysters from our existing reefs.

    MDMR also needs to get a competent handle on the current oyster programs they have in place – e.g., leasing of state waterbottoms for oyster culture. It took 5 weeks for MDMR to answer a simple question regarding its leasing program – Can an oyster lease be transferred and what is the process?

    If MDMR can not answer a simple question on a program that has been in existence for decades, how does it expect to deal with a new program of cage culture? No wonder the opposition was so great. There was poor or no prior thought or planning and no effort to gather input from the public and affected user groups on the idea of cage culture. So much for MDMR’s promise of transparency and progress.

    Here are some questions that MDMR, MDEQ and those responsible for spending the Restore Act funds should have to answer:

    Why are we building an oyster hatchery and for what or who’s benefit?

    Economically, is it prudent to build our own hatchery or is it cheaper to purchase the oyster larvae from an established hatchery – such as the one run by LSU at Grand Isle, LA?

    Why is MDMR, MDEQ and USM-Stennis spending Restore Act monies to hire a consultant to survey with remote sensing the reef areas in the western MS Sound? Haven’t we already surveyed these reefs? – seems I recall a public notice requesting permission to “plant” the reef areas that had a map showing all of the reef areas in MS.

    Does MDMR, MDEQ or USM-Stennis not already employ someone with the expertise and equipment to survey the reefs? Seems I recall MDMR has a boat – the Reef Keeper – that cost somewhere close to half a million dollars (with equipment) for the purposes of surveying the reefs. And, is there no one at MDMR that knows how to find a reef and differentiate between exposed shell or cultch (rock, limestone, shells, etc.) and productive versus non-productive areas?

    Why are MDMR, MDEQ and USM-Stennis spending Restore Act monies for a consultant to survey three seperate quarter-mile areas to select three, 15-acre sites for reef development? If they would check the USM-Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s (GCRL) library, they will find a copy of a publication by our own, local oyster biologist, William Demoran, that depicts the areas along the coast that are suitable for oyster reef development. And, do we not already employ someone with the expertise to find three, 15-acre sites for reef developement?

    And, what are we building in Heron Bay (near the Pearl River) – is it an oyster reef or habitat or a subtidal reef? What’s the purpose and benefit of this project? If it’s to establish oyster habitat – then they have pick an area that has never been conducive for the production of oysters because the site is too close to the mouth of the Pearl River and lacks the proper salinity regime to support the long-term production of oysters. Again, if one would research the issue via publications of historical and current oyster surveys readily available at the USM-GCRL library, one would already know that fact.

    It’s a sad fact – MDMR, MDEQ and GCRL are in a worse state than they have ever been. There’s is no scientific intergrity, no peer review, no honesty and no transparency. Everyone’s drinking the KoolAid and going along with the “ride” because they all want to keep their jobs and get a piece of the pie. As one insider said – if we don’t do it like they want, someone else will get the project (money).

    It was a sad day when GCRL fell under the (mis)management of USM. And, there are no more Gordon Gunters or J.Y. Christmases that had the integrity to call the corrupt politicians and their cronies to the curb, when they proposed hairbrain schemes to pad their own pockets at the expense of our natural resources.

    We can sit back, grumble alone or among like-minded individuals, but unless we begin a monotonous, unified voice of questioning how and why MDMR & MDEQ are spending the Restore Act monies, when it is all said and done, all of the money will be spent and we will have accomplished nothing better, except to have padded the pockets of the corrupt individuals that are lined up at the KoolAid stand drinking away.

    Who you gonna call? – Your state legislator – he’s doling out the KoolAid. The State Attorney General, State Auditor, or Federal prosecutor – their all hand-picked and groomed on the KoolAid train. WLOX or the Sun Herald – they won’t rock any boats enough to sink the rotten ship because they would lose their adversting dollars and the higher ups are on the KoolAid train Maybe – Ghostbusters – everyone else is “on the take.”

    1. Brilliant post and a brilliant comment.

      I think the actions of the DMR clearly show that we have a bunch of incompetent people running the agency. But once again, the majority of voters are fault because they keep voting the RRRSM back in office and their Cronys follow right behind them.

      With the DMR, Miller and other political hacks involved, some one from the regime will end up benefitting. Rest assured.

      1. Ever since Melissa Scallan was hired from where she was (sun herald I think) they got really quiet in their investigations and reporting. It’s really fishy. She’s got them under a tight leash somehow

    2. Don’t ya’ll know a good oyster reef program requires at least two big, luxurious oyster boats so dat dem fat cats can motor out to check on dem reefs , harvest dem fat ones up and charbroil dem smothered in butter/garlic, pop a few cool ones…………… den blow up some balloons and allow their progeny to blow out da’ birthday candles ……… cause history repeats itself on da’ GOP GreenCoast where easy money done bees flowin’ in with da’ greatwhite sharks not too far behind.

  2. Gawwww-leeeee!

    People have been telling me to hurry up and get my application in at the DMR! They keep telling me I’d fit right in!

  3. And here we go again. As seen on the Slabbed ticker:

    https://mississippitoday.org/2016/06/15/bryant-may-be-forced-into-special-session-on-budget/

    It looks like the King Dipshit (Bryant) may be called into special session to settle a budget issue.

    Well, some of you may find this funny because you thought you elected a “fiscally conservative republican” but you are sadly mistaken. The RRRSM is full of corrupt politicians who thrive on government corporate welfare and strive to keep a good portion of our citizens remaining on welfare. Their goal is to keep the citizens ignorant which will keep their train running full speed ahead to fuel the regime.

    1. Also of note. Pertaining to the Government Oyster Boondoggle.

      If you are one of the people in disgust about this deal and you voted for Bryant and other members of the RRRSM–You need to keep your trap shut. You are part of the problem.

  4. This may be hard for people to swallow but……What people have to realize is that the RRRSM is not much different than ISIS. They have not reached the level of killing innocent citizens but that actually could become a reality if they keep gaining power.

    The regime shares similarities with ISIS with respect to complete domination, a radical religious attitude, intolerance with others and where only the inner circle truly profit.

  5. JC and others,
    Thank you for enlightening us readers and educating us on our great DMR. We already knew it was a den of iniquity. And yes, why notify any legislator since they are feeding from the same hog trough. All they are looking forward to is their perks, their retirement and continue being reelected by us stupid voters.

    1. Mr. Rodgers

      Great point and you are 100% correct about notifying the legislature. That would be about useless because chances are they are either involved or don’t want to get their buddy in trouble who is probably involved.

      This is what happens when you have a 1-party socialistic regime.

  6. JC has a really great post that gets my mind producing some DMR thoughts. I wonder if Horne LLP is still the numbers masseur in the Bolton Building? I saw Frontier mentioned by someone and I assume they are still working that lifetime DMR contract or subcontract that came to be soon after Jamie Miller arrived. The other night from my perch at the Mary Mahoney’s bar I did overhear someone mention that the Frontier boys were Hard Rock-ing with the Team and all were getting pretty shaggy baby. Just about the time the conversation between these folks was getting good Bobby Mahoney interrupted and said “Do you know why golfers always bring two pair of pants? In case they get a whole in one”. They then got up as one of the men said”Shall we shag now or shag later”? I guess some things just never change. Sort of like Bobby’s jokes.

  7. The director of Shellfish at DMR and all their employees do great work. Then comes time to get approval for things. Guess what happens??? The commissioners decide what is in their best interests. The guys overstep their authority by not listening to the recommendations of the fisheries staff and shellfish employees. Employees that do more work by 6 am then those commissioners will ever see. Rather sad

    1. Correct again Jeff. Throught the past 4 or 5 years, shellfish bureau scientists have been recommending more limited seasons and the CMR goes against them every time. A year or 2 ago, it was presented that our oyster reefs wouldn’t be considered reefs any longer in other states because the number of oysters on them were so low. What happened you ask? Gollott and company wanted them opened longer and with higher limits cause we needed to catch the oysters before they were all dead. Now we barely have any production at all from what few reefs we have left. Its not the scientists fault at DMR, they are doing everything they can, its just the decision makers aren’t listening

      1. Don’t panic about the oyster populations as Gollott has a master back up plan. Next year he will probably start pushing to have the polluted reefs opened up like he has tried in the past.

        1. He’s about depleted those with the relay programs. There’s been a few of those reefs they relayed that are now mud bottom without an oyster in sight

      2. I was at that meeting. The oyster fishermen even got up and supported the DMR staff recommendation and Gollott lead the charge to over rule the staff and open the oyster season. He said when there weren’t any more oysters they would close the season. Unless the minutes of the meeting were altered, his comments should be on record.

  8. Remember the whole change speckled trout to 13 inches thing??? The greatest and most recent example of the Commission on Marine Resources over-ruling the staff at DMR. So yeah, it’s sad. And the comment about terrorist group, well guys it may surprise y’all but lives have been ruined,….

    1. Indeed Jeff. In one of the recent CMR meetings, gcrl presented some preliminary data showing that since the 13 inch ruling, our trout population has been in the decline and looks like it isn’t sustaining themselves like they were 1t the 14 inch limit. This isn’t Louisiana and we don’t have the habitat they do for a limit that small. Our fish can’t breed before they are caught

      1. And it was recomended by staff when it was proposed to not do it and wait to see what models showed happening. Instead, commissioner Gollott decided to go ahead with the change.

      2. The Ostrige Commission led by “fish the gulf dry” Gollott could care less about science. Richard has often stated that he could care less about science. He takes his cues from Mike Cure and Harold Strong. They run the Mississippi program like the Louisiana program because Cure has leases in Louisiana. The Fisheries department just changed the rules so Cure can bring all his contaminated oysters from Louisiana that has the highest death rate from oyster in the country to Mississippi. This at the bequest of Gollott because his kin is married to Mikes sister.

        1. Point Park

          Thank you for the good reads to start off the weekend. There is no doubt in my mind that the oyster program is some hidden agenda to line someone’s pockets. The question is, who is it really? Could it be Gollott. Could it be a Joe Cloyd connection? Perhaps an eating establishment in BSL? It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

          1. All the above and more. The big name I’m hearing in office is the owner of the half shell and a few other restaurants on the beaches in biloxi. 2 others in particular but I can’t think of their names off the bat

  9. The reef they are building around heron bay is supposed to be for shoreline protection from what I understand but its a terribly thought out structure that has had so many redesigns, they are spending more on “engineering” now than the actual project itself may end up costing. I’m seeing as a big project thought up just to keep the engineering firm busy so they can keep charging us money

  10. First off, Miller is Bryant’s man. Second, Gollott runs the show. Third, Gollott and Miller are two of a kind. All your DMR scientists can recommend all they want but unless Miller and Gollott give the OK – they wasted their time.

    1. No doubt Miller is heavy into politics. I have made comments within the last few years that he will be running for political office.

      If he is elected for some political office, I wonder if he will bring Rhonda Price with him? Hmmmmmm

      1. She would be a prime choice. A perfect crony to fetch coffee and offer “admin support” to a married white male with republican political power, who makes six-figures+. If all goes well maybe she can bring along her skank buddy.

  11. Does anyone know what has happened to our friend Anita Lee at the SH? Have they gotten rid of her too? Haven’t heard from her lately on the coast crooks ….. Guess they have forced her to be quiet or shipped her out of town tooπŸ˜•

      1. Did y’all hear, the DMR is allowing employees to run in the Governors race in Jackson. Your tax money spend on gas and state time for a few select employees to get paid to try and lose weight. It’s getting out of hand.

  12. I have been commenting for some time how the seafood mafia in Bayou Caddy that has deep pockets with both the Governor and Jamie Milker. Cure loves to take Bryant out on booze cruzes in the caddy marshes. And it is no secret that Bryant and Miller enjoy fund raising cruzes on the Mary P. Those are the harbor rats that ratted out Joe Cloyd and Adam Dial and the DMR paid for Boston Whaler. No luck on finding out which DMR employees enjoy the free booze cruzes similar to the Bill Walker fishing trips. The employees are saying that’s a 6th floor thing. Sooner or later it always comes out and Jamie Miller should be held accountable for his Walker like actions. But alas Pickering and his lynchmen only prosecute the innocent and defenseless. Maybe his daughter needs an upgrade and the family needs a vacation from all the stress generated here at Slabbed.

    The Governors oyster plan was a grab of public resources from the very beginning to benefit Harold and Mike and those were on the Governors committee, hand picked by Jamie so he could adopt their thieving recommendations. Jamie eats paid for lunches and dinners from them. No conflict there. Dale the biggest thief and liar of them all retired so he could come back make more money and rob the public of the resources he was sworn to protect. He is the very person that hired Walton from Alabama to rewrite the rules to benefit a handful of the Governors high dollar donators and a couple restaurant owners that are taken out on free Boston Whaler booze cruzes. Oh, and rumor has it that Jamie’s hand picked Commissioner has already benefited from the Boston Whaler Joe Cloyd Adam Dial connection. And it is true hundreds of thousands of dollars are now being spent on hiring the Horn group to cover up the incompetency of Barbarba Levine and Kacey Williams that have blundered their way to an almost million dollar deficit at the DMR. 30,000 on artwork, leatherback chairs, extravagant rugs no expense spared on the 6th floor. Now all the contract being funneled to the twins, Horn, Frontier Gulf Coast and Gulfport business like Climb. On and on. In direct being squeezed out of all the grants in an attempt to cover or should I say cover up all the dim witted decision being made. The Cup Cake Eater is now taking Money from the interest account in Tidelands to try and plug the hole. Maybe she could shove some Ding Dongs in there all the good it will do. All the while the Ostrige Commissioners have their heads firmly planted in the ground with no hope of removal. Surgery will be required.

  13. Oh while I’m at it the Cake Eater is responsible for most of the Sun Heralds silence. She is often quoted bragging to this effect. Hard to see how the weather gal could have more influence than Pickering lynch mob. Must have been devistating to watch on that DMR big screen as those LSU Tigers let her down once again. But she rallied and hosted a big DMR paid for seafood contest in a GULFPORT restaurant called Climb. Not too far from home or church.

  14. Mississippi state senator Terry Burton of Scott County found not guilty of a second DUI after wrecking his car. He said the judge believed him, that after the wreck he drank some NyQuil because he was thirsty. Oh, I’m not done, then he used breathe spray also because of a itchy throat. Wow, sounds like the judge has the itchy throat, from too much crooked political ROOT. Story on WLOX.com. You can’t make this stuff up people

    1. Next time for Senator Burton’s turd DUI he needs to take the high road and claim the recently discovered gastric,yeast overgrowth medical syndrome which produces alcohol when one eats some mash potatoes……..

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