Paddling the Pascagoula

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Though I went on to become fanatical for many years about canoeing and sea kayaking, I never set foot in a canoe until I was 18 years old. Canoeing was almost unheard of around the small town where I grew up, and we did not have an active Scout Troop that did that sort of thing.

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Ernest and I have often discussed the fact that Mississippi, a state blessed with woods and water, including thousands of miles of perfect streams for canoeing, just does not have a canoe culture. Even today, anyone paddling a canoe on the bigger rivers of the state like the Pascagoula or the Pearl is looked on with disbelief by the local fishermen in their John boats with outboards.

This may never change, but for those of us who do recognize it, this state has some of the finest canoe waters in the country, and the Pascagoula River System surely has some of the finest in the state.

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I would have loved the opportunity to make such a journey down the river at the age or ten or twelve, but as it turned out there were plenty of opportunities later, and hopefully will be many more in the future. Post a Comment. Monday, December 14, Paddling the Pascagoula, Posted by Scott B.

Pascagoula River Blueway

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Pascagoula River, May 2016

Those hoping to enjoy fish and wildlife in the slower backwaters should visit Points of Interest accessible by road just off the main river. It is allowed to move naturally no dams over 80 miles where it empties into the Mississippi Sound.

Over 50, acres are now protected for conservation along the stunning landscapes of the free flowing river. Within the Pascagoula River WMA hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, and boating are all acceptable activities.

Pascagoula River Audubon Center offering kayaking tours to discover the bayou

Aside from the river, visitors may see oxbow lakes and other backwater sloughs, cypress-tupelo swamps, small creeks, pine savanna and longleaf pine forests within the 37, acres of the Pascagoula River WMA. Within this fascinating landscape of habitats, over species of birds live or migrate each year to feed, nest and roost. Deer are plentiful; fox, river otters, beaver, skunks, bobcat, alligators, snakes and even black bear can be found within the river habitats. The National Park Service is collaborating with state and local agencies and organizations to promote the conservation, stewardship, and public use of the Pascagoula River, the last large unimpeded river system in the lower 48 states.

Permit use is strictly enforced. Additionally, visitors must complete a daily use permit card before entering the WMA.

8 must-read canoeing books

These permit cards are available at permit stations located at major entrances to the WMA. If the river level is under 3 feet or over 9 feet, wait for better conditions before attempting to paddle. To report safety concerns, call George County Sheriff or Cell phone coverage is not always reliable.

Walking trails are important passageways for hunters; please use caution during these months.

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