Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.
Activity Report for the Period
August 11 - October 13, 2011
During this period there were 2 Reef Monitoring Trips. On September 17, a trip was made to visit the Gerald Corcoran (Linda Susan) and the Southern Star Shrimp Boat. On September 24, some incidental video & pictures were taken on the Gerald Corocran and the Great Wicomico Pogey Boat.
Click Here for the PDF Report
The first dive on September 17 was made on the Great Wicomico Pogey Boat (091124/517F13). This 175' Pogey Boat was donated by Omega Protein and deployed in 86' of water on November 24, 2009 at the South End of FH-13 (29°59.527'N / 88°30.610'W ). The Red Snapper population was significant on this reef (100-150/2-20lbs.). Other fish sightings included Gag Grouper (8-12/6-15lbs.), Mangrove Snapper (2-6/2-6lbs.), Triggerfish (6-8), and Spadefish (25-30). Bait fish sightings were very diminished compared to previous recent visits and it was interesting to note that there were no sea urchins seen. Previous visits showed them to litter the deck heavily. There were no skeletons, just no urchins. Also no Tropical Fish were seen at all.
The next dive on September 17 was made on the Gerald Corcoran Reef (060624/435F13), also known as the Linda Susan (Vessel Name). This 145' River Tug Boat was deployed on June 24, 2006 and is sitting upright in about 86' of water at the South End of FH-13 (29°59.794'N / 88°29.892'W). Some depth readings at the Stern Mast were taken, 65' at the top of the offshoot boom, 63' at the mounting base, and 55' at the top of the Stern Mast. Like the Wicomico, there were no urchins or tropicals sighted. Fish observations included Red Snapper (50-75/2-20lbs.), Gag Grouper (6-8/6-15lbs.), Cobia (3/15-40lbs), Sheepshead (6-8), Mangrove Snapper (4-6/1-4lbs.).
The next dive was made on nearby oil rig MO992A. This is mentioned because there were a pair of Manta Rays encountered here that hung around for multiple dives. It was quite an experience and the Video can be see at the Youtube Channel http://youtube.com/markprimo or at the first link at the bottom of this report.
The next dive on September 17 was made on the Southern Star (100331A/526F13). This 80' Shrimp Boat was deployed in about 76' of water near the east central end of FH-13 (.30°02.082'N / 88°30.916'W). She is sitting upright with the Bow facing at about 130° with a Water Clearance of about 45' due to the tall Masts. This reef also lacked the usual Urchins and Tropicals. Also, the large Sea Anenome observed on the shelf of the Wheelhouse during previous trips was missing. A depth reading of 61' was taken at the starboard framework at the base of the Stern Ladder. Fish Observations included Red Snapper (75-100/2-20lbs.), Triggerfish (6-8), Spadefish (50-75), Sheepshead (3-6), and a single 4 foot Barracuda.
On September 24, some incidental Video was taken during a fishing-diving trip. The dives were very similar, but there did seem to be even more Red Snapper on the Great Wicomico Pogey Boat (150-175). The visibility was even better on the Wicomico and allowed some better observations of the structure. Moon Jellyfish were also very thick.
Click Here for the September 17 Trip Pictures & Video
Click Here for the September 24 Trip Pictures & Video
PRIMO's Link Page
Author: Mark Primo Miller, Gautier, MS 39553