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Tag: artificial reefs

Wakulla and Franklin County to Get More Artificial Reefs, Summer 2014

by on Jun.10, 2014, under Apalachicola, Carrabelle and St. George Island, Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach and St. Joseph Bay, Shell Point to Lanark, Ochlockonee Bay, St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina

By: Charlene Cristobal
June 9, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Wakulla and Franklin county will be getting some new underwater digs next week. Thanks to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Organization for Artificial Reefs (OAR), limestone structures from Orange Beach, Alabama will be coming in to create new homes for fish and wildlife off the coast.

The structures, about 15 feet tall and weigh over 18 tons, are about to make a landing in the Saint George Sound. Artificial reefs have been around Florida since about 1964, and next week another will take position.

FWC Spokesperson Amanda Nalley says, “We have several artificial reefs across Florida. Out of the 35 counties that are on the coast, 34 of them have an artificial reef program. Artificial reefs are a great opportunity for both increased fishing opportunities and increased diving opportunities.”

The FWC and OAR will put 41 triangle shaped structures in the water to create new homes for fish and wildlife in the area. According to experts, the reefs will usually start seeing life move in as soon as 30 days after installation. But the FWC and OAR also say that the reefs won’t just attract the fish…

“Most of our reefs are an attractant for people that both want to fish on them, as well as dive on them,” Nalley says. “They definitely do help bring tourism dollars into the state, when people travel here and go offshore to go fish these reefs.”

According to OAR’s Chairman Alan Richardson, “Studies show that for every dollar in reef development fund that have been expended, roughly $130 or so come back to the community in the form of tourist dollars. We’re hoping that this will help the economies of Franklin and Wakulla county.”

The running total for this project is about $125,000.

This particular reef is important to a local family. The Camp family will be naming the reef after their son Dixon, who passed away five years ago.

The reef’s install is set for sometime the week of June 15, 2014.

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New (2013) Artifical Reefs off of Horseshoe Beach – GPS coordinates

by on Nov.12, 2013, under Horseshoe Beach

Thanks to the great volunteer efforts of Old Town resident, Charlie Fornaciari, with the support of the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners, Suwannee, Horseshoe Beach, and Jena/ Steinhatchee fisherman and women will enjoy a boost in our ability to offer great offshore fishing.  This improvement is based on the create and expansion of a artificial reef in the Gulf.  Here is a note from Charlie Fornaciari :

“Enclosed please find the coordinates for 5 of the nine new reefs. We are still refining the accuracy of these coordinates but I’m sure you will not have trouble finding the reefs.

Additionally we have now started the mapping on the 4 remaining new reef sites. It will be up to the seas and weather.

There is a lot more structure in the area than expected. Most likely they are reef balls from previous deployments back in the mid ‘90s and ’05. The dives of September 9th prove some of that out.

We use a letter / number pattern to lay out the entire project plan. Location D3 is the very most center of the reef building project and the coordinates are provided as follows for location D3.

We will be refining the coordinates over time and we will provide the coordinates of everything else on the project area, such as reef balls, hard bottoms, etc.

Although plant life and fish are starting to show up it will take about 18 months for the reefs to mature. This allows for the marine plant life and invertebrates to colonize the limestone and pipe that has been placed.

All reefs are made up of approximately 30 tons of limestone and culvert pipe.

Some of the people working on this project, Horseshoe Beach Artificial Reef, believe the reef will attract Sheepshead this winter. If you are a diver or a fisherman please let me know what you can via email. Photographs are always welcome and some will end up on the Dixie County Tourist Development website and the artificial reef site when set up. Keep your clothes on when taking pictures of the fish! We do not want to scare anybody.

The other reef site coordinates so far:

D2: Lat. 29°19.682’ / Lon. 83°26.313’

D3: Lat. 29°19.692’ / Lon. 83°26.252’

C3: Lat. 29°19.720’ / Lon. 83°26.247’

C4: Lat. 29°19.750’ / Lon. 83°26.192’

E2: Lat. 29°19.624’ / Lon. 83°26.299’

All material height is between 3’ and 5’ off the bottom.”

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