RIVERS AND STREAMS
Mississippi has about 5,000 named streams extending about 14,000 miles. Most of them are seriously degraded by streamside land development, agriculture, improper sewage treatment, flood control projects, dams, mining, erosion and other practices. Yet, many streams still support significant populations of fish, mussels, turtles and other aquatic life. Streamside forests often provide crucial wildlife corridors for migrating birds and animals with larger ranges such as black bears. Streams and associated habitats also provide some of the state’s best outdoor recreation experiences, from fishing and hunting to activities such as birding and paddling.
WILDLIFE MISSISSIPPI PROJECTS
- Protection, restoration and enhancement of riparian areas through acquisition, establishment
of wetlands mitigation banks and conservation easements.
- Geographic focus on certain waterways, including the Buttahatchie River in northeastern
Mississippi, the lower Pearl River, Bayou Pierre, the Mississippi River and coastal
- Supporting projects to restore Mississippi River side channels in partnership with
the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers.
- Leadership role in the Mississippi River Landowner Alliance, a partnership promoting
conservation management of private lands along the Mississippi River.
- Promotion of biological surveys for aquatic species.
- Participating in the Batture Reforestation Project, which is part of the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), to work with producers and landowners to implement voluntary conservation practices that improve water quality, restore wetlands, enhance wildlife habitat and sustain agricultural profitability.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, white bass, catfish, bluegill and crappie.
SPECIES OF CONCERN
Species of concern are numerous, depending on stream size and location. Less turbid streams with gravel beds, such as the upper reaches of the Buttahatchie River, support diverse assemblages of mussels, small fishes such as darters, shiners and madtoms, and Gulf Coast walleye. The Mississippi River and its floodplain habitats support protected species such as the pallid sturgeon, interior least tern, fat pocketbook mussel and Louisiana black bear. Coastal streams such as the lower Pearl and the Pascagoula River are home to Gulf sturgeon, imperiled turtles such as the yellow-blotched map turtle and breeding populations of swallow-tailed kites.
- Conservation management of riparian areas preserves biological diversity and protects water quality for wildlife and people.
- Intact stream-side forests provide important corridors for the migration and movement of birds, bears and other wildlife.
- Well-managed streams and floodplains provide high-quality outdoor recreation experiences.