The mission of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks is to conserve and enhance Mississippi’s wildlife, fisheries, and parks, provide quality outdoor recreation, and engage the public in natural resource conservation.
Mississippi's legislative leadership recognized the need for wildlife conservation in our state and founded the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission in 1932. Since then, the Agency has been the state's premier conservation organization. In 1989, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation merged with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Conservation to form the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). The MDWFP is a large state agency charged by state statute to conserve, develop, and protect Mississippi's natural resources and provide continuing outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Agency is organized into six bureaus: Law Enforcement, Freshwater Fisheries, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (MMNS), State Parks, Support Services, and Wildlife. The MDWFP manages state fishing lakes, fish hatcheries, state parks, wildlife management areas (some owned by other entities, but managed by MDWFP), three regional offices, and one museum. The MDWFP's annual budget is unlike that of many state agencies; approximately 90% of this budget is derived from user-generated funds rather than state tax funds. Primary funding sources include hunting and fishing license sales, permit and registration fees, and federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.
Over the decades, the MDWFP has:
- Acquired and managed lands, waters, and parks to procure, in perpetuity, public areas for nature-based recreation and to provide habitat for fish and wildlife.
- Provided technical guidance and information to private and public landowners on how to manage their land and water to benefit fish and wildlife.
- Educated the public on the values and importance of Mississippi's natural resources.
- Conducted research and population surveys to ensure the sustainability of native species.
- Restored populations of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, wood ducks, walleye, and striped bass.
- Stocked millions of fish in public lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams statewide.
- Constructed boat ramps to access to lakes, rivers, and streams statewide.
- Educated the public on safe and ethical uses of Mississippi's natural resources through hunter and boater education.
- Protected fish and wildlife populations through establishment and enforcement of laws and regulations.
- Provided emergency response to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, and floods.
- Assisted other agencies in ensuring public safety.