Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Activity Report for the Period
June 9 - July 14, 2011

During this period there was 1 Reef Monitoring Trip. On July 2 a trip was made to visit the Southern Star Shrimp Boat and the Great Wicomico Pogey Boat in FH-13.

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100331A Southern Star 526F13
Position: 3002.082'N / 8830.916'W 76' Depth

This 80' Shrimp Boat was deployed in about 76' of water within FH-13 on March 31, 2010. She is sitting upright with the Bow facing at about 130 with a Water Clearance of about 44'. The reef is showing some good growth and encrustation and the water visibility was excellent. Fish Sightings were good although larger red snapper sightings were diminished from last months visit probably due to heavy fishing pressure which was evident by entangled fishing gear. The sightings included Red Snapper (50-75/1-10lbs.), Gag Grouper (2-4/1-6lbs.), Sheepshead (2-4/2-3lbs.), Triggerfish (6-8/1-3lbs.), Mangrove Snapper (8-10/2-3lbs.), and Spadefish (75-100). The large sea anenome that was seen last month flowering inside a shelf in the wheelhouse was still present. No significant tropicals were sighted, but the higher profile allowed for significant barnacle growth and a healthy Blenny population. Bottom scouring is not significant at this point either, but some urchins at and near the bottom appear to be in distress which could indicate low O2 levels near the bottom. Urchins on the Deck and above appeared very healthy. Several Depth measurements were taken as follows for later comparison. Minimum Depth = 43', Stern Ladder Rail = 61' both starboard & port, Stern Bollard = 61', Stern Gunwale = 67' both starboard & port, Wheel House Roof = 57', Bow Light = 55', Bow Bollard = 62', Bow = 62', Bottom at Bow = 80' with some washout evident, Back Deck = 70'.

091124 Great Wicomico 517F13
Position: 2959.527'N / 8830.610'W 86' Depth

This 175' Pogey Boat was donated by Omega Protein and deployed in 86' of water within FH-13 on November 24, 2009. Visibility was less than that of the Southern Star, but still workable. Fish observations included Red Snapper (75-100/1-12lbs.), Triggerfish (6-10/1-3lbs.), Spadefish (75-100), and tomtates (50-75). This reef always seems to hold many more tomates in comparison with our other reefs. This vessel apparently sunk into the mud somewhat yielding a reef with diminished effects below the upper wheelhouse roof. This is evident with the Center Mast Pipe having a depth reading of 83' compared to a surrounding depth of 86'. Other readings were taken as follows: Lights on Bow = 63', Bollard on Bow = 79', Bow = 75' top & 76' base, Railing near wheelhouse = 72', Center Window inside wheelhouse = 72', Bollard by Center Mast = 82', wheelhouse roof = 65'.

Click Here for the trip pictures and video

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Author: Mark Primo Miller, Gautier, MS 39553