Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Partial Activity Report for the Period
July 15 thru August 11, 2005

During this period, there were 2 Reef Monitoring Trips. On July 23, a trip was made to the Rowan and Von Rosenberg in FH-7. On August 7, a trip was made to the Gwen Tide and the Eckstein in FH-13 and the Northeast Barge in FH-2. Also some video was taken of the Miss Peggy in FH-2 on July 30. Spotter operations may be covered by the DMR (Department of Marine Resources) under a different report.

931101 Rowan Crew Quarters, 133F7
Position: 2937.230'N/8823.863'W 12536.8/46922.1/29587.2

This 120' X 35' X 35' derelict crew quarter structure was deployed by Rowan Drilling Company on November 1, 1993 while the "Perfect Storm" was causing havoc in the Northeast. Sitting in 128-130 feet of water, this structure rises to a depth of about 96 feet providing an excellent reef for Amberjack, Grouper, and Snapper. This visit revealed that the reef is still performing quite well. Some of the walls have deteriorated away, but this actually has enhanced the reef as past observations have shown fish like open walls to swim thru. Several tropical fish have taken residence including a large French Angel, a pair of large Spot Fin Butterflies, and a half dozen or more Blue Angels. Other fish observations included Vermillion Snapper (75-100), Red Snapper (100-125/1-4 lbs) (4-6/10-20 lbs.), Triggerfish (6-12), Amberjack (5-8/10-30 lbs.), Mangrove Snapper (4-6/1-3 lbs.), Scamp (3/1-4 lbs.), and Gag Grouper (4-6/2-8 lbs.). Amberjack sightings are much fewer than have been seen in the past, but this has been typical this year throughout the Gulf. A couple years back marked record sightings of Amberjack. The structure is doing well and does not show much scouring into the bottom as has been seen with Vessels.

000513 Von Rosenberg Reef (ID=246F7)
Position: 2937.473'N 8823.615'W TD's: 12539.2 46923.1-2 29590.7-6

This 155 foot Pogey Boat (Menhaden Vessel) was sunk in May of 2000. The vessel landed relatively upside down and the observations on this trip show it continuing to scour into the bottom. Depth readings of 145 feet were attained near the hull showing the effects of scouring when compared to the surrounding depth of 125 feet. A depth reading atop of the vessel was 115 feet. There is not many features atop the structure except for the rudders and propeller shafts. Fish sightings were much fewer when compared with the Rowan and included Triggerfish (8-12), Red Snapper (50-75/1-4 lbs.)(3-5/10-15 lbs.), Scamp (2/2-4 lbs.). It should be noted that visibility was much worse near the bottom and may have contributed some to limited fish sightings. While the reef is still producing, the importance of getting a vessel to land upright was noted. Not only does it yield more features to the reef, it is believed that scouring into the bottom is escalated when the vessel lands upside down.

050520 Kay A Eckstein, 431F13
Position: 2959.552'N / 8829.700'W

This large 150 foot Mississippi River Tugboat was sunk on May 20, 2005 in the southeast corner of FH-13 in about 88 feet of water. The observations on August 7 show this 3 month old reef is already collecting some game fish. A June 30 visit showed no game fish, but lots of bait fish like cigar minnows. This visit revealed several Gag Grouper (8-12/4-15 lbs.), Red Snapper (25-50/1-3 lbs.)(1/15-20 lbs.), and a few vermillion snapper. Spadefish, Blue Runners, a school of about a dozen Amberjack, and Mackerel were also sighted. The wheelhouse had been cut off prior to sinking and produced a deck with corridors forming a maze which the grouper seem to like. A minimum depth reading of 66 feet was taken.

031125 Gwen Tide Reef, 417F13
Bow Position: 2959.560'N / 8831.870'W 12454.8/47020.9/29606.2

This 180 foot supply boat was sunk on November 11, 2003 near the southwest end of FH-13 in 84 feet of water. At the time of sinking the top of the wheelhouse had a minimum depth reading of 44 feet. Since then the wheelhouse has been ripped off, probably due to hurricane Ivan and now has a minimum depth reading of 63 feet at the top of the forward mast. The gunwales measure about 71 feet of depth. Fish observations include Spadefish (100-150), Red Snapper (100-150/1-4 lbs.), Triggerfish (8-10), Sheepshead (6-10), Mangrove Snapper (6-10/1-3 lbs.), and Blue Runners (75-100). Some scouring of the hull is evident but not profound.

041122 Miss Peggy, 430F2
Position: 3005.185'N / 8834.54'W 12427.2/47043.7/29602.5

This 53 foot steel hull shrimp boat was sunk toward the west end of FH-2 on November 22, 2004. The Goliath Grouper sighted on the previous visit was not seen on this dive, however, several Gag Grouper (4-6/4-12 lbs.) were observed. The booms seem to be performing well as a FAD for minnows. Visibility was a little better near the bottom on this visit allowing video of the hull.

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