Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Activity Report for the Period
May 8 thru June 12, 2008

During this period there were two dive monitoring trips and one construction trip. On May 12, Culverts were deployed in FH-9 inside of Ship Island. On May 18 a dive trip was made to the 060911 FH-2 Culverts and the 060424 Capt. Kevin Reef in FH-2. On June 1, a dive trip was made to the 060930 and 060915 Culverts and the 070308 Fireboat in FH-2. Additional deployments and other activity may be covered by the DMR under separate reports.

080512 Culverts, 485F9
Position: 3015.429'N / 8853.756'W 12228.5/47080.5/29449.2

This was a full barge load of Culverts that was deposited on May 12, 2008 in FH-9 just North of the East end of Ship Island at the above coordinates. The surrounding depth was measured at 19 feet with a minimum depth of 13 feet recorded. Winds were from the East at 18 knots.

060911 Culverts and 060424 Captain Kevin Reef
Position: 3005.210'N / 8833.934'W (Culverts) and 3005.099'N / 8833.490'W (Kevin)

Since we have been deploying a significant number of Culverts lately, it was desired to see how the ones deployed in September of 2006 have been doing. A visit to ones deployed on September 11, 2006 in FH-2 revealed that they are producing quite well. Visibility was a bit poor yielding only about 5 feet at the bottom, but it was well enough to collect some video and determine that the reef is doing well. The Culverts are becoming well encrusted with Barnacles, Urchins, Soft Corals, and the like. Fish were plentiful with well over 100 red snapper sighted in the 16-22 inch size range. Also sighted was about a 10 pound Gag Grouper, a dozen Trigger Fish, a few Sheepshead, several Mangrove Snapper, Tomtates, and such. This dive was followed up with a visit to the Captain Kevin for comparisons of the different reef profiles. The Kevin is a 48' Shrimp Boat with Booms that reach to about 30 feet from the surface. This higher profile appears to attract more bait fish like Blue Runners and Cigar Minnows as well as more Mangrove Snapper and Spadefish. The Culverts seem to accommodate more Soft Corals and Urchins as well as a better overall population of Red Snapper and Grouper. Some Depth Readings were taken for future comparison of settlement and shifting. The minimum depth at the forward Boom was 29 feet, the Aft Booms measured 32 feet, The outrigger boom measured 46 feet, the top of the wheelhouse was 46 feet, and the top of the Radar Antennae was 44 feet below the surface.

060930 & 060915 Culverts and 070308 FireBoat 468F2
Position: 3005.134/8832.920 and 3005.087/8833.933 (Culverts) and 3005.360/8832.957 (FireBoat)

These 2 different sets of Culverts were very similar to the 0911 Culverts with the exception that 06930 seem to invite more Blue Runners and Trigger Fish. Also a lone Squirrel Fish was sighted that is usually more typical on Florida Reefs. Some sedimentation was noted on the inside of some of the horizontal culverts, but it was not significant. There were more Gag Grouper on the 0915 Culverts, but they were smaller in size. The 65' X 16' Fireboat was sunk on March 8, 2007 in FH-2. The Vessel landed upright with the bow pointing South. The surrounding depth is about 55 feet with the minimum depth on top of the wheel house recorded at 44 feet. The top of the Duct Vents on the Stern meaured 50 feet below the surface. The Rudder on the Stern is fully visible with little oversedimenation in that area. Many fish, particularly spades swim freely in and out of the wheelhouse. Many of the Glass Panes are intact and allow light in, however marine fouling is taking hold. The Snapper on this vessel were pleniful, but seemed to average smaller in size, perhaps due to the younger age of this reef. Visibility on these dives averaged around 10 feet with perhaps 25 feet in the upper mid-water.

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Author: Mark Primo Miller, Gautier, MS 39553