Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks, Inc.

Activity Report for the Period

October 13 thru November 10, 2016

Activity Summary

During this period there was one dive trip made on November 10 to retrieve 2 USM Recorders, one from the Barataria Bay in FH-13 and one from the Jumbo Barge in FH-7. Windy weather has hampered efforts to collect all the remaining recorders. Click here for Gallery.

150610 Barataria Bay 552F13                                                            Video: https://youtu.be/KV6PxUGHRF8

Position: 29°59.605'N 88°30.350'W Depth: 88' Min Depth: 53'

Bow: 29°59.614'N 88°30.348'W Stern: 29°59.586'N 88°30.361'W


On November 4, this was our fisrt stop to retrieve the USM Recorder on the Barataria Bay and to make some general observations on the reef. This recorder has been in service since August 7. At that time the American Flag was replaced after it was found missing from the flag pole. On this trip, the flag was found laying on the structure still attached to the mast. It appears the mast snapped right at the hole it was secured to. It either got very rough or an anchor snagged it and broke it off trying to free it. The mast and flag was restored to Service, but we may want to try a smaller flag than 5' X 7'. The fish observations showed fewer baitfish than the August 7 visit but there was still a substantial population of Cigar Minnows and Tomtates. A healthy spadefish population was present as were smaller mangrove snapper and more lionfish are also showing up. As far as game fish, a few Triggers and smaller Gag Grouper were noted. Red Snapper were present but not overly abundant. The Deepwater Mafia crew has been deploying some derelict bicycles as well as 2 skeletons. The one on the port side of the vessel was moved to the wheelhouse on this trip. These artifacts make some great enhancements to the reef for divers.

860701 Jumbo Barge 125F7                                        Video: https://youtu.be/gjm9a_YPT3Q

Position: 29°36.870'N / 88°24.593'W 135'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. At one time the water clearance was less than 90 feet and held an ambundance of Amberjack but now it is around 112 feet and the AJs became absent until the addition of FAD2 two years ago on October 29, 2014. There has been problems with leaks on the unit. The unit was still floating on the last visit of August 20 but was laying on the bottom on this trip. The auxillary float attached was not holding enough air to float the entire unit. Air was added and the unit refloated but there was a significant leak on the end cap which was not leaking before. There was apparent wear damage possibly from banging against the barge when it was partially floating. Anyway, it was refloated and the clearance above the main unit was 65 feet. The Recording sensor was retrieved successfully and the exceptional water clarity allowed for fish observations. A very healthy population of Amberjack and large Red Snapper were seen as well as game sized Mangrove Snapper and several Lionfish. A grouping of Soapfish setup residency inside the bow eye. Significant soft corals litter the deck and a sea cucumber was observed. A small cluster of invasive orange cup coral was seen on the deck as well. Overall, the reef is performing very well. http://mgfb.org/Email Author: MarkPrimo@primofish.com