Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.
Activity Report for the Period
August 13 thru September 10, 2009
During this period there was one reef monitoring trip. On September 6, a Dive Trip was made to the Elsie M (081011a) in FH-1 and the Corps Barge (011114) in FH-2.
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081011a Elsie M Landing Craft, 490F1
Position: 30°03.185'N / 88°36.945'W
This 50' X 16' Landing Craft was donated by the Gulf Islands National Seashore after replacing the aged vessel. They used this vessel to transfer equipment from the mainland to the National Seashore Islands off Mississippi. This was the first visit since her October 11, 2008 deployment. Visibility was not ideal, but several juvenile red snapper and Triggerfish were sighted in addition to schooling bait fish like TomTates and Blue Runners. The Vessel is facing in a generally West direction with a Starboard mast head reaching the highest point at about 55' from the surface, followed closely by the bow landing grate at about 57'. Depth measurements along the starboard side and along the deck was 63' with the aft railing reaching to 60'. The Port side measured about 61' denoting a slight list. The bottom measured around 69' under both ends with the surrounding depth reading about 68'. Overall the reef is performing well but needs some more time to develop.
011114 Corps Barge 259F2
Center Position: 30°04.776'N/88°34.608'W 12426.5/47042.3/29600.3
This 200 foot work barge was sunk on November 14, 2001 in the southwest corner of FH-2. The bow is facing in a southwest direction and the coordinates were recorded at 30°04.770'N/88°34.624'W. The Stern is at 30°04.785'N/88°34.592'W. Previous visits have been made on 11-18-01, 5-25-02, 7-13-02, 5-24-03, 10-4-03, and 4-10-04. Initially this reef had a minimum depth of 34 feet due to an upper deck structure that has since been ripped off by Storms, leaving the reef with a new minimum depth reading of 56'. Visibility was extremely poor at the structure which pretty much made observations fruitless, however, significant soft corals were noted growing on the deck and several snappers, triggers, and bait fish were observed. In addition, a game sized cobia (~30 lbs.) was seen in the upper clear water near the surface. It was also noted that there was significant silt collecting on the reef itself and may be hampering encrustation of barnacles and other life. Side-Imaging showed numerous holes throughout the length of the barge. Otherwise the reef is still showing to be viable despite its nearly 8 years of age.
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Author: Mark Primo Miller, Gautier, MS 39553