2003 Regular Session
To: Wildlife and Fisheries
By: Senator(s) Posey
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-7-81, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE USE OF COMMERCIAL FISHING GEAR IN STREAMS; TO REVISE PENALTIES FOR UNTAGGED COMMERCIAL FISHING GEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-7-81, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-7-81. (1) It is unlawful to take or kill game fish in any manner other than by hook and line with one or more hooks, or by use of a trot or troll line. Dip or landing nets may be used when landing a fish caught by hook and line, trot or troll lines. Shad and minnows may only be taken as bait with the aid of a dip or landing net, cast nets, boat-mounted scoops and wire baskets by residents for personal use in sportfishing. However, in private ponds or borrow pits or overflow ponds which go dry in summer and cut off from the regular streams, dip nets may be used for capturing or rescuing * * * game fish. It is unlawful to kill or take fish of any species at any time or anywhere by mudding, or by the use of lime, poison, dynamite, India berries, weeds and walnuts, giant powder, gunpowder, or any other explosive, and no nongame gross fish shall be taken by the use of nets, seines or trap for personal use without a commercial fishing license. It is unlawful to set any freshwater commercial fishing equipment so that it extends more than halfway across the width of any stream, channel, drain or other body of water, * * * and if commercial fishing equipment is placed in water each piece of equipment shall be placed at least one hundred (100) yards apart. The commission shall not have authority to fix a minimum size mesh of more than three (3) inches for use in barrel nets, hoop nets and seines. Notwithstanding anything in this or any other section to the contrary, any person in Mississippi fishing with barrel nets, hoop nets or seines in any waters of common boundary between Mississippi and another state may use a mesh size in such nets which is the same as the mesh size allowed in the other state, where the other state allows a mesh size in such nets which is smaller than the mesh size otherwise allowable in Mississippi.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to catch or destroy fish by the use of dynamite, gunpowder or other explosive substance.
(3) It is unlawful for any person to use a telephone, battery or any other electrically operated device for the purpose of killing or capturing fish.
(4) It is unlawful for any person to use any chemical of any kind in any stream or any lake where the public fishes for the purpose of killing or taking fish, except that this provision shall not be construed to apply to any owner of any fish pond using such chemical in his own private pond.
(5) It is unlawful for any person to poison any fish by mingling in the water any substance calculated and intended to stupefy or destroy fish.
(6) It is unlawful for any person to fish any equipment in the waters of the state of any size or type that is not allowed by the commission.
(7) Any * * * hoop net, barrel net, seine, gill net, slat baskets, trammel net or untagged commercial fishing gear or devices being fished in public waters may be seized and held as evidence and shall be subject to forfeiture.
(8) Any person violating the provisions of subsections (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) of this section is guilty of a Class I violation and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in Section 49-7-141.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.