Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Activity Report for the Period
September 12 - October 10, 2013

During this period there was one reef monitoring trip and one construction/reef monitoring trip. On September 25, the DMR contracted with Walter Marine and deployed 26 Limestone Pyramids in FH-13 split between two locations. Following the deployment, dives were conducted on the new material as well as on the 070306B Pyramids deployed in FH-13 on March 6, 2007. Dives were also made on the Four Boys and Captain Kevin Shrimp Boats and the 110303B Culverts. On September 29, a dive trip was made to FH-2 on the 110318B Culverts, the St. Elmo, and a deployment of Reef Balls.

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130925A Limestone Pyramids 547F13
Position: 30°03.441'N/88°31.554'W 68'Depth
Pyramids Video: http://youtu.be/HcC9hFAXDDQ
Thirteen Pyramids were deployed at this location. The water depth was 68 feet and there was a clearance of 60 feet measured. Following the deployment of both pyramid groupings, a dive was conducted on this grouping and it already showed juvenile red snapper and triggerfish investigating the structures.

130925B Limestone Pyramids 548F13
Position: 30°03.567'N/88°31.903'W 68'Depth

The remaining Thirteen Pyramids were deployed at this location. Water depth was 68 feet and there was a clearance of 60 feet measured. Initially the grouping was about to be deployed on top of Culverts 110303B but was moved about 0.1nm at 258°after being alerted to the existing material.

070306B Limestone Pyramids
Position: 30°03.740'N/88°32.342'W 65'Depth

These pyramids were deployed by the DMR in March of 2007. Since the DMR took over the database management, dropped the MGFB numbering conventions and a completion report was not provided, a target ID was not able to be provided for this target. They were last visited on September 20, 2009 when it was reported that there was some scouring and over sedimentation. There does not seem to be much change to what was described in that October 2009 Report. The maximum depth reading was 71 feet compared to a surrounding depth reading of 65 feet and a minimum depth reading of 62 feet. The scouring does not seem as bad on this group as what was reported in the June 2013 Report on the 070306F grouping. Fish sightings mostly included Red Snapper (50-75/1-3 lbs, 2-4/10-15 lbs) as well as Tomtates (75-100) and a few Triggerfish and schools of Menhaden. Barnacle encrustation was present and there were several urchins and arrow crabs sighted denoting a welcome return of better water conditions.

060424B Four Boys, 060424A Capt Kevin, 110303B Culverts
Positions: 30°03.459'N/88°3.189'W 30°05.099'N/88°33.490'W 30°03.619'N/88°31.810'W
Videos: http://youtu.be/f0d0lFHl5L4      http://youtu.be/Z7f4rtY5t6A      http://youtu.be/3R5wiS9FUh0

Since the water conditions were good, dives were made on these 3 reefs as well. The Four Boys (FH-13) and Capt Kevin (FH-2) are both shrimp boats that were deployed on the same day (April 24, 2006). Fish Observations on the Four Boys showed a decent population of Red Snapper (50-75/2-10 lbs), Scamp and Gag Grouper (4-8/1-6 lbs), Triggerfish (4-6), Spadefish (75-100), Mangrove Snapper (15-20), Sheepshead (4-6). There were some soft corals but not heavy. Some of the ladder rigging was noted laying on the bottom off the Stern and to port. Depth readings were taken as follows, 66' Surrounding Depth, 52' Minimum Depth at light mast and top of rear ladder, 55' top of wheelhouse, 57' Bow Pulpit, 63' on both Stern Corners.

The Capt Kevin showed a depth of 60 feet with 35 feet of clearance. Fish Observations included Red Snapper (25-30/2-16 lbs), Spadefish (75-100), Mangrove Snapper (15-20), and Sheepshead (15-20). A Cocoa Damsel and a few urchins were noted as well. There appeared to be a few more larger Red Snapper when compared to the Four Boys.

The Culverts consisted of Man Holes and Catch Basins. The water depth was 68 feet with a clearance of 64 feet. Fish observations included Red Snapper (75-100/4-16 lbs), Mangrove Snapper (25-30/2-10 lbs), Gag & Scamp Grouper (8-12/4-15 lbs), Spadefish (50-75), Triggerfish (10-14), and Tomtates (75-100). A few sea urchins were also noted.

110318B Culverts 543F2
Position: 30°05.518'N/88°34.567'W 55'Depth, Clearance 50'
Video: http://youtu.be/r0D1PWZk66A

Fish Observations included many more smaller Red Snapper (150-200/1-2 lbs) and Mangrove Snapper (20-25/1-2 lbs), but fewer Spadefish (20-25), Triggerfish (4-6), Sheepshead (2-4), and Tomtates (20-25). There were many more soft corals like Sea Whips, but no sea urchins or arrow crabs were sighted at all. This could be an indication of recent poor water quality.

081011b St. Elmo Shrimp Boat 491F2
Position: 30°04.820'N / 88°33.278'W
Video: http://youtu.be4/zHc-mTesJH8

This 70' Steel Hull Shrimp Boat washed ashore in Pass Christian Harbor during Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The Harbor had a lien on the Vessel and somehow obtained ownership and donated it to the DMR. The DMR Derelict Vessel Program paid 100% to recover the Vessel, environmentally clean it, and deploy it in FH-2. Previous visits were conducted on May 2, 2009, September 20, 2009, May 22, 2010, July 14, 2013, and September 12, 2012. The structure appears to be doing well with little deterioration. Fish Observations included Spadefish (50-75), Red Snapper (50-75/2-4lbs.), Triggerfish (2-4), Mangrove Snapper (8-10), Sheepshead (2/2-3lbs), and Warsaw Grouper (1/10-15 lbs.). The Grouper was friendly. There were a few Sea Whips noted but no urchins or arrow crabs denoting some recent water quality problems.

2008 Reef Balls FH-2
Position: 30°04.864'N / 88°33.328'W Depth 55'
Video: http://youtu.be/EHfOvV3_9sA

This deployment of Reef Balls is not far from the St. Elmo in FH-2. There were several sets deployed by the DMR in 2008 and a couple were kept as control reefs. It is believed that this is one of those sites. Fish observations were actually a bit disappointing possibly due to low relief and recent water quality problems. No Sea Whips, urchins, or arrow crabs were observed. Sightings included Red Snapper (25-50/1-3 lbs) (1-10 lbs), Triggerfish (8-12), Mangrove Snapper (8-12), and Tomtates (50-75).

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Mark Primo Miller
PO Box 1737
Gautier, MS 39553
Phone:512-677-4661 (512-MPRIMO1)
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