Fishing, hunting and camping in Pearl River County

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2018

The season for outdoor activities is here. The month of June is national camping month, and this coming week is national fishing and boating week. There are several places in and near Pearl River County to engage in these outdoor activities, but residents are encouraged to practice safety while they do.

Walkiah Bluff Water Park is located along the Pearl River just south of Picayune. It includes a boat launch to the river where people can go boating and fishing. Park Manager Bobby Robbins said there are no areas nearby where enthusiasts can hunt, but fishing is allowed as long as the proper license is acquired. The park also has several spots for both primitive camping and RV camping. Robbins said the nightly fee for RV camping is $20, which includes use of an array of on-site amenities. Campers who are older than 55 or are disabled, that fee goes down to $15 per night. The cost for a primitive camping site is $10 a night, Robbins said. There is also a pavilion that can be rented for events or parties. For information, Robbins can be contacted at 601-590-4633.

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On the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge has places for people to fish, hunt and camp.

According to the refuge’s regulation brochure, “hunters, anglers and campers 16-years of age and older are required to have a refuge permit.”

The permit currently available is good for all hunting, fishing and camping at the refuge for 2017-2018. Hunters must follow hunting season regulations and must have their own separate hunting and/or fishing licenses, the brochure states.

Primitive camping is allowed as long as campers set up their site within 100 feet of designated streams within the refuge. Campers cannot stay for more than 14 days and are required to mark their sites with all of their personal information.

Hunting and camping are both closed when the Pearl River reaches a flood stage of 15.5 feet or more, the brochure states.

For more information, the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge can be contacted at 985-882-2000.

Further north, the Old River Wildlife Management Area provides a place for hunting, fishing and camping. It is located near the north end of the county on Highway 43 North near Poplarville. According to the site’s official regulations, similar to the Bogue Chitto Refuge, Old River requires proper permits. According to previous coverage, this permit is valid for one year. It can be purchased on the website, by calling 601-432-2400 or at any location that distributes hunting or fishing licenses. In addition, visitors must fill out a “daily visitor use permit card” and keep it with them during their visit. Camping is allowed in designated areas and is limited to 14 days at a time.

In Kiln, located at 8100 Texas Flat Road, is McLeod Park, which has several places for camping, fishing and other activities.

While there are no places for hunting at that park, there are several RV and primitive camping sites and a pavilion, which is available for rent. According to the campsite’s website, campsites on the river cost $26 and off the river cost $23. For the large pavilion, the rental fee is $75 per day. The small pavilion costs $50 per day.

According to the website, there is a playground, a beach and an area for fishing, swimming and even a boat launch providing access to the Jourdan River. For more information about McLeod Park, call 228-467-1894.

While doing any of these outdoor activities this summer, it is important to be prepared.

Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Coordinator Dennis Riecke said it is important to wear sunscreen and a hat and to take along insect repellent while engaging in outdoor activities. For instance, if a person is allergic to bee stings, Riecke said to be sure to bring an EpiPen and/or Benadryl to counteract allergic reactions.

Life jackets should be used on boats, trails should be monitored for dangerous creatures such as poisonous snakes, and protective clothing should be worn while hiking in the woods.