Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Activity Report for the Period
November 9, 2001 - January 10, 2002

Summary
During this period, there were 2 reef construction trips and 1 dive monitoring trip conducted. On November 14, the large Corps Barge was placed in FH-2. On December 7, the 155' vessel "Deer Island Southampton" was sunk in FH-13. On November 18, a dive trip was made to inspect the rubble deployment on top of the FH-1 "A" Barge and was followed by a dive on the newly deployed Corps Barge in FH-2.

011114 CorpS Barge 259F2

Center Position: 3004.776'N/8834.608'W 12426.5/47042.3/29600.3
Construction was performed by Gulf Stream Marine and spotter operations by primofish.com. This large barge is estimated at about 190 feet in length and was used as a work barge by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The vessel had sunk sometime back in Bayou Portage, Biloxi, and was raised as part of a derelict vessel cleanup program directed by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. The initial plan was to deploy the vessel in the southeast corner of the FH-2 site. The towing vessel planned to hold her on location, but heavy seas hampered efforts and as the vessel took on water it got very difficult to fight the seas and eventually the tow line broke causing the barge to drift westward until she finally sunk closer to the southwest corner of FH-2. The bow is facing in a southwest direction and the coordinates were recorded at 3004.770'N/8834.624'W. The Stern at 3004.785'N/8834.592'W. The surrounding depth was 58 feet and water clearance was recorded at 34 feet. The deployment timed out so that the vessel arrived after nightfall on the 13th and sunk after midnight on the 14th. Unfortunately, the darkness did not allow photographs or video of the deployment.

011207 Southampton Reef 260F13
Bow Position: 2959.815'N/8830.095'W 12472.5/47022.0-1/29625.1
This 155' vessel was also part of the derelict vessel cleanup program and it too had sunk some time back in Bayou Portage. Gulf Stream Marine raised the vessel and deployed it in the southeast corner of FH-13 on December 7. This vessel, originally named "DYROY", now bore the name "Deer Island Southampton". Video and pictures were taken despite foggy conditions. The towing vessel anchored herself upstream of the target location and patches were knocked off the Southampton allowing her to sink in about 1.5 hours time. She landed upright facing eastward in 87 feet of water with a minimum depth reading of 56 feet taken off some hand rails near the bow. A dive was made following the sinking to verify her upright orientation and to take some initial underwater video. This should make an excellent diving site for years to come. The Stern position was recorded at 2959.812'N/8830.117'W. The loran coordinates were recorded as 12472.5/47022.0-1/29625.1. Check the MGFB website for images of her deployment.




Dive Trip
On November 18, a dive trip was made to inspect the rubble deployment on top of Barge "A" in FH-1 and to get initial observations and video of the Corps Barge in FH-2. Barge "A" was sunk in 1984 as one of the first barge deployments conducted by MGFB. This large deck barge is in relatively good shape but the deck is very flat and void of features, so it was desired to deploy rubble on top of her deck to enhance the reef and provide a future Reef Complex "Centerpiece". The rubble was deployed on November 8. Observations showed the deployment went well and existing fish and organisms were already making use of the new material. Some of the material layed down flat, while others were standing up. Most culverts landed flat, but one was noted landing vertical. The deck held together well and no breaches were noticed. Some of the rubble landed off the barge but plenty of it landed on target. Some of the pieces added an additional 8 feet of height to this 12 foot tall barge in 65 feet of water. The barge coordinates are 3003.605'N/8836.636'W.

Following that dive a visit was made to the newly deployed Corps Barge in FH-2. The vessel, described earlier in this report, was visible just after leaving the surface. The added height of this structure should provide a good diving reef especially when visibility is poor on the bottom. No large game fish were noted yet, but there were several juvenile red snapper and large schools of cigar minnows present. Considering this reef has only been down for 4 days, it is on it's way to producing fish. Some video was taken to be compared later when the reef takes on more life.




http://primofish.com/        http://mgfb.org/        PRIMO's Link Page

EMail Author: Mark@primofish.com