Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.
Activity Report for the Period
June 12 - August 14, 2014
During this period there was one reef monitoring trip. On August 10 a trip was made to FH-13 to deploy a new FAD design on a Pyramid. Visits were also made to the Southern Star Shrimp Boat, the Tuan Phong Shrimp Boat, and the Borries Culverts. We were pleasantly surprised with better visibility than has been normal.
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070306F Limestone Pyramids and FAD
Position: 30°01.953'N / 88°30.651'W 76' Depth
This grouping of Pyramids are located a little East of the Southern Star Shrimp Boat in FH-13. We chose to place our newly created FAD on this reef. The FAD is made up of 10 foot sticks of sewer pipe and an opening on each end to allow it to fill with water. Leaving just a little air in it, the top opening was glued shut. This left the rig manageable to get down to the reef. Once attached to the existing lift ropes on the Pyramid, the height was adjusted so the top was at about 50 feet during mean low tide. Once situated, air was pumped into the FAD using the Diver’s Octopus Regulator. After adequate buoyancy was achieved it was noticed that the chain did not get around adequate parts of the lift ropes so more rope was obtained from the boat and tied through the Pyramid holes. Once completed, the bottom cap was placed on the unit, but it would not stay on. It may not need this cap but a future design could use a threaded cap to avoid this problem. Overall the FAD deployment went smoothly. This particular design was modified from a cube design that looked like it would be too bulky and cumbersome to handle. Future monitoring and redesign will be conducted to do more of this kind of work.
The tide level was just under 2 feet above MLW. Depth measurements were taken as follows, Base of Pyramid 81', Top of Pyramid 75', top of FAD 48', surrounding depth in area is 76'. These measurements show how the Pyramids sink into the bottom and lose some of their effect. Hopefully the FAD will help bring things into check.
Fish observations showed a decent abundance of Red Snapper (100-150/1-3 pounds, 1/20-25 pounds), tomtates (50-75), and in the upper water there were Chicken Mahi Mahi (8-12) and Spanish Mackerel (20-25). Also of interest was a mystery hole in the bottom that as about 12 inches in diameter. The orgin is unknown and it is unknown if something is living in it. There is no debris field at the opening but there was a single arrow crab at the entrance.
100331A Southern Star 526F13
Position: 30°02.082'N / 88°30.916'W 76' Depth
This 80' Shrimp Boat was deployed in about 76' of water within FH-13. Last month a marked decline of fish populations was reported. This month they seem to be making a come back. Fish observations included Spadefish (150-200), Red Snapper (125-150/1-6 lbs), Scamp Grouper (1/ 2lbs), Mangrove Snapper (15-20), Tomtates (50-75), Cocoa Damsels (3-6), and Soapfish (3-6). Soft Corals were observed and several Sea Cucumbers. Some measurements were taken, Bow 63' (compared to 59' last visit), Port and Starboard Stern Corners 73', Mast 59', and minimum depth 56 feet.
060909b Tuan Phong, 437F13
Position: 30°02.175'N / 88°31.349'W
This Shrimp Boat was deployed near the center of FH13 at the above coordinates on September 9, 2006. Measurements were taken as follows, Bow 74', Port Gunwhale 71', Stern Port Bottom 80', Stern Port Corner 75', Top of Cage on Stern 69', and a minimum depth of 54' compared to a previous reading of 44 feet on April 20, 2008. Fish observations included Red Snapper (75-100/1-3 lbs.), Triggerfish (1), Scamp Grouper (2), Mangrove Snapper (8-10), Tomtates (20-25), Spadefish (125-150), and Sheepshead (6-8/2-6 lbs.), as well as a few Soapfish, Cocoa Damsels, and Sand Bass. There was also a Sea Turtle encounter.
060909b Borries Culverts, 510F13
Position: 30°02.004'N / 88°31.281'W
These Culverts were deployed on September 9, 2006 in FH-13 near the Borries Barges. Not many visits have been made due to their low profile status, but we made a quick dive here to take advantage of the better visibility. There were a couple game size snapper and grouper sighted and a Blue Angel. Otherwise the fish observations were consistent with the other reefs.
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Mark Primo Miller
PO Box 1737
Gautier, MS 39553
PRIMO Computer Engineering