Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Activity Report for the Period

May 12, 2016 thru June 9, 2016

Activity Summary

During this period there was one monitoring trip and two construction trips conducted. On May 14 a dive monitoring trip was made to FAD2 attached to the Jumbo Barge in FH-7. On May 24, the DMR deployed 88 Juvenile Red Snapper Habitats in FH-13. On May 31, the DMR deployed 72 additional “Crap House” or “Fish Dice” units on FH-14.

141029 FAD2 Visit Gallery            Video: https://youtu.be/Zbz0IjoJy0k

Position: Attached to Bow of FH-7 Jumbo Barge 29°36.870'N / 88°24.593'W 130'Depth


FAD2 was deployed in FH-7 on October 29, 2014. During Deployment a small air leak was noticed and it had been feared that the unit had failed. A small FAD unit was constructed to act as a float to give the unit buoyancy. On February 7, a trip was made to install the unit but FAD2 was found to be still functioning. The repair FAD was not utilized on this trip but was installed on June 1, 2015 after it was found on the bottom. However on this May 14, 2016 trip, FAD2 was once again found on the bottom. Air was added to both FAD2 and the repair unit, but leaks were noticed in both. A return trip is planned to add buoyancy to the unit. Fish observations on the Barge showed a healthy population of legal sized Amberjack and Red Snapper. Not as many fish on the structure itself which was attributed to a heavy silt layer on the bottom that covered the structure. Four invasive lionfish were observed, one on the starboard side and three around FAD2 at the bottom near the port bow.

160524 & 160531 “Fish Dice” Deployments

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) designed and deployed 160 Juvenile Fish Habitat units within FH-13 (88 Units) and FH-14 (72 Units). The habitat details were provided in their Invitation for Bids (IFB) and requested that the juvenile reef fish habitats will be made out of concrete (4000 psi).The habitats will have a nested box design with the outside box measuring 36”w x 36”l x 36”h with 3” holes distributed across the five surface areas. The inside box will be 16”w x 16”l x 16”h with 1.5” holes distributed across the five surface areas. The thickness of the sides of the boxes will be 3”. The habitats will sit on a base 48”w by 48”l that will be 6” thick. There will be no rebar or metal plates added for reinforcement. Bids should include the price for construction and deployment of each reef (habitat). The price of this project will not exceed $195,000.


There was not a good short name for these units and since they looked like the gambling dice used to play Craps, and the fact that I didn’t like the design, I initially began calling them Crap Houses. However, due to some negative feedback on the name, I have now started calling them “Fish Dice”. The design effectiveness is a gamble and I personally don’t think they will recruit juvenile fish, but we will see.

Reefmakers in Orange Beach was awarded the project and used their 113' x 30' Vessel Maranatha to deploy the units. A buoy was used to position the vessel’s bow and the units were deployed among all four corners of the vessel. Typically four units per corner but sometimes only a single unit was placed. The first batch of 88 units was deployed in FH-13 on May 24, 2016. Upon arriving onsite, the DMR boat was late and a request was made to Reefmakers to add some FADs to the units. They agreed but after the FADs were assembled and placed on the Maranatha, the DMR rejected


the idea and would not allow it. Following the deployment, one crab pot FAD was placed on one unit and some underwater video was taken of several units on the bottom to establish a benchmark of reef development.


The deployment of an additional 72 units occurred in FH-14 on May 31. The call to deploy was received at 8pm on May 30 and there was not time to cancel an 8am doctors appointment so MGFB representation was late getting to the deployment. The first set of coordinates (570F14) was provided by the MDMR. As the final set was about to be deployed, MGFB determined that the MDMR was about to place the material outside of the Permitted Site Boundary. The Contractor was alerted and operations halted while the MDMR determined a new position. Their second choice was still going outside the boundary, but their third choice was satisfactory.

Deployment & Underwater Video Gallery of FH-13 Deployment Gallery of FH-14 Deployment


The reef identification and coordinates are detailed below

160524A 30°03.058'N 88°32.242'W 14+ Units 565F13 (Current NW @ 1kt)

160524B 30°02.937'N 88°32.359'W 14+ Units 566F13

160524C 30°02.810'N 88°32.360'W 19+ Units 567F13

160524D 30°02.632'N 88°30.470'W 19+ Units 568F13

160524E 30°02.760'N 88°30.466'W 10+ Units 569F13

160524F 30°02.765'N 88°30.497'W 10+ Units 569F13

160531A 30°12.396N 88°49.907'W 570F14 (Current running SE @ 1 kt)

160531B 30°12.393'N 88°49.735'W 571F14

160531C 30°12.232'N 88°49.785'W 572F14


http://mgfb.org/                                                          Email Author: MarkPrimo@primofish.com