Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Activity Report for the Period
June 11 thru July 9, 2009

During this period there was one reef monitoring trip and one Vessel Deployment. On June 28, a Dive Trip was made to the St. John and Rubble 2C in FH-13. On July 9, 2009, the Shrimp Boat “Tiger Shark” was deployed in FH-13. Click Here for the PDF Report

060909a St. John, 436F13
Position: 30°00.391'N / 88°30.906'W 12464.5/47024.6/29619.4

This Shrimp Boat was deployed in 84 feet of water on September 9, 2006 and visited in September 2007. During September of 2008, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike came through the Gulf and apparently caused significant damage to this reef. Water clearance was recorded at 40 feet when deployed, 47 feet during the 2007 visit, and 64 feet during this 2009 visit. The Vessel was reported to be listing during the 2007 visit and now is almost turtled into the bottom with the bow completely below the mud line. During the 2007 visit, depth measurements were 77 feet at the Bow, 73 feet at the Stern, with a maximum depth recorded of 86 feet under the Stern. Now the Vessel has a large hole at the Stern with a maximum depth reading of about 100 feet. The starboard gunwale shows a depth range from 88 feet to 85 feet with the Bow disappearing below the mud line. If not for the booms, this Vessel would have very little reef material left above grade. The booms show heavy barnacle encrustation, but the Hull actually shows wear and polishing along the hull. Fish observations were weak, with only a significant population of Spade Fish (100-125) and a few spiny urchins observed. While this reef was reportedly doing well in 2007 with a healthy population of life, it is now struggling to recover from the 2008 Storms.
Click Here for Deployment Pictures

960829 Rubble 2, 166F13
Position: 30°00.543'N / 88°31.859'W     12454.8/47024.9

This 13 year old Rubble Pile is still providing habitat. Although an old shrimp net is entangled on the reef and a great deal of silt lays across the rocks, fish are still resident, mostly consisting of smaller red snapper and larger white trout along with a few flounder. It was also interesting to note soft corals growing on many of the rocks in contrast to their lack of existence on the Vessels. The reduced visibility hampered fish counts, but fishing efforts revealed some decent populations of smaller fish.

090709 Tiger Shark, 495F13
Position: 30°00.291'N / 88°29.700'W     12476.4/47024.1/29631.2

This large Shrimp Boat was rescued from the Beach in Biloxi and deployed in the Southeast end of FH-13. The surrounding water depth was 88 feet with a water clearance of 51 feet recorded. Unfortunately, as the Vessel sank, the Starboard Boom swung in toward the bow and the imbalance of weight caused the Vessel to list badly. She sunk bow down hard into the bottom and then listed over onto her port side. A dive was made to assess her situation and depth measurements were taken and recorded to Video. Although her orientation is not ideal, the Vessel should still provide excellent fish habitat.
Click Here for Deployment Pictures

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Author: Mark Primo Miller, Gautier, MS 39553