Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Partial Activity Report for the Period
October 13 thru November 9, 2006

During this period there was one monitoring trip made to the Kay Eckstein in FH-13 on October 29. Deployments and other activity may be covered by the DMR under a separate report.

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. This vessel was visited previously on June 30 and August 7 of 2005. This trip was made on October 29, 2006 to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. Observations revealed the overall structure survived fairly well, but the Vessel was obviously rocked hard and wallowed a good ten feet into the bottom. Most of this is at the Stern where a depth reading of 96 feet was taken compared to a surrounding depth reading of 86 feet. In addition, there is some over-sedimentation at the Stern compared to 6 feet of relief during the pre-storm visits. The Vessel was sitting pretty much level pre-storm, but the bow is pointed up now at about a 30-40 degree angle. A minimum depth reading of 70 feet was recorded compared to a reading of 66 feet taken pre-storm. With tide differences accounted for, there is a difference of close to 8 feet overall. So to summarize, the Vessel was rocked down into the bottom a good 10-15 feet at the Stern which caused the bow to lift up some and causing a drop of the overall relief to the surface of about 8 feet at the bow and 12 feet at the Stern. There appears to be very little starboard or port listing which is very good for its reef functionality.

Fish observations and photos were hampered some by upper murky water causing low light levels at the Vessel. However, the overall count was quite good. Pre-Storm observations were mostly showing bait fish and only a few game fish. This visit had some good game fish counts. Counts included Red Snapper (40-60/1-3 lbs. & 6-10/8-15 lbs.), Gag Grouper (8-10/1-10 lbs.), Trigger Fish (20-30/1-3 lbs.), Mangrove Snapper (20-30/1-8 lbs.), Cobia (4/10-40 lbs.), King Mackerel (20-25/5-20 lbs.), Spade Fish (50-75), Blue Runners (100-150). In addition to the underwater counts, a fairly good sized Tiger Shark visited the boat topside and landings consisted of several smoker sized Kings, one Cobia that was an inch short, a few keeper Snapper and Triggers, several juvenile gag groupers, and a nice door matt sized Flounder (Click here for more info).

Overall, although the Storm caused some significant negative impacts, the reef is still performing very well and producing some quality fish.

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