BILOXI, Miss. — Mississippi’s Commission on Marine Resources has voted unanimously to open oyster season beginning at legal sunrise Monday, Oct. 3.

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources scientists estimate nearly 80,000 sacks of oysters survived a series of mortality events in August in the western Mississippi Sound, including three days of heavy rainfall. Commissioners voted to establish a harvest quota not to exceed 35 percent, nearly 28,000, for this year’s oyster season.

That area will be open to tonging and dredging. The daily sack limit is 25 for dredgers, 15 for tongers.

WLOX-TV reports ( while the resource itself may be diminishing, at least oyster fishermen may have a little less competition this year. That’s because the CMR voted unanimously to impose a moratorium on new oyster licenses, effective immediately.

In addition, for the first time since perhaps the 1950s a portion of Biloxi Bay will be open for oyster harvest, beginning Nov. 1.