Activity Report for the Period
April 11 - May 9, 2013
Summary During this period there were 2 Reef Monitoring Trips. On April 27, 2013, a dive monitoring trip was made to assess the Jumbo Barge and Grantee Tug in FH-7. On May 8, a trip was made to FH-13 to try out the new Camera System. The first dive on the Mike Jenner Tug Boat showed extremely poor visibility top to bottom which rendered observations fruitless but considering the conditions, the Camera test went well.
860701 Jumbo Barge 125F7
Position: 29°36.870'N / 88°24.593'W 130'Depth
This large Sea-Going Barge was deployed in 1986, but few details were recorded at the time. It is estimated to be around 400 feet in length with a two story wheel house. The bow was determined to be about 23.5 feet above the bottom in 1989. This visit showed a bow depth measurement of 115 feet which equates to about 15 feet off the bottom. This denotes some subsiding into the bottom. A depth reading of 114 feet was taken near the front of the upper deck and 111' was the minimum depth reading. At one time there was a mast on this structure reaching up to a depth of about 90 feet. There is no longer any sign of this structure. Most of the upper part of the Barge was in clear water, but there was a murk layer that covered the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column. The decks had a healthy population of soft corals. Fish observations included Red Snapper (200-250/2-25 lbs)), Triggerfish (8-12), Mangrove Snapper (20-25/1-3 lbs), Scamp Grouper (6-8/1-3 lbs), Gag Grouper (1/10-12lbs), Spadefish (50-75), Vermillion Snapper (100-150), Tomtates (50-75), and a single lesser Amberjack.
870806 Grantee Tug Boat 126F7
Position: 29°37.304'N / 88°24.267'W 130'Depth
This 80' Steel Hull Tug Boat was sunk during the Summer of 1987 along with a Deck Barge within the FH-7 site. The vessel landed on her starboard side so it is a relatively low profile reef but it has produced well over the years. Observations were hampered on this visit due to it being completely engulfed by the murk layer on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column. However, there was a healthy fish population above this murk layer that included Red Snapper (250-300/2-25 lbs), Triggerfish (6-8), Gag Grouper (1/7-9 lbs), Flounder (1/4-6lbs) , Hammerhead Sharks (3/75-125lbs), Black Tip Shark (1/50-75lbs). There was a significant amount of sediment over the hull of the vessel denoting that it may often lay under the murk layer. There were some soft corals present, but they did not appear as healthy as those seen on the Jumbo Barge.
060624 Mike Jenner Reef 435F13
Position: 29°59.527'N / 88°29.610'W
This 145' River Tug Boat is sitting upright at the South end of FH-13. This trip was to try out the new camera system that was recently purchased. The system is a Canon 7D Camera with a Tokina 10-17mm lens, a Nauticam Underwater Housing, (2) Sola 2000 S/F LED Video Lights, and (2) Sea & Sea YS-D1 Strobes. This yields a professional quality picture and video system for documenting the reefs. Unfortunately the recent flood waters caused the visibility to be under 5 feet from top to bottom. Considering the poor conditions, the Camera test went well for getting acquainted with the setup and still yielded some pictures.