Sea Grant Notes – Oct 13, 2017

WATER QUALITY

 

HEALTH ADVISORY ISSUED FOR BAYOU’S GRANDE, TEXAR, AND CHICO – AS WELL AS QUIETWATER BEACH, SANDERS BEACH, AND BIG LAGOON STATE PARK

 

 

Date Location Water Temp (F) Salinity (ppt) Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L) Enterococcus (saltwater) (colonies/100ml) E. coli

(freshwater)

(colonies/100ml)

Advisory Issued
Oct 8 Bayou Texar Poor Yes
Bayou Chico Poor Yes
Bayou Grande Poor Yes
Big Lagoon State Park Poor Yes
Sanders Beach Poor Yes
Quietwater Beach Poor Yes

 

Data provided by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health

 

To view all 2017 water quality data visit

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/04/14/2017-water-quality-data-pensacola-bay-system/.

 

ARTICLE ON ENTEROCOCCUS – THE BACTERIA USED IN MONITORING MARINE AND ESTUARINE WATERS FOR SEWAGE

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/07/02/the-health-advisory-bug-enterococcus-faecalis/.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OF THE PENSACOLA BAY SYSTEM: Retrospective Review for Future Resource Management and Rehabilitation

Lewis, Michael, J. Taylor Kirschenfeld, and Traci Goodhart. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf Breeze, Florida, EPA/006/R-16/169, 2016.

 

This 146-page document reviews historic database, biodiversity, contaminants, groundwater quality, surface water quality, sediment quality, dredging, bioaccumulation, public health risk, wildlife health risk, habitat status and restoration, economic value, and climate change within the Pensacola Bay System.

 

The document is too long to post on the website but I will be posting smaller fact sheets throughout the year. If you are interested in the complete document, contact me. Roc1@ufl.edu

 

SURFACE WATER IMPROVEMENT AND MANAGEMENT PLAN (SWIM)

Perdido and Pensacola Bay

The Northwest Florida Water Management District conducted public meetings on the recent SWIM plans for Perdido and Pensacola Bay watersheds. If you were not able to attend the meetings you can view the draft plans (and make comments) at the following website.

http://www.nwfwater.com/Water-Resources/SWIM/SWIM-Plan-Updates

 

Fish Kills

 

Jan Jan 10 Algal bloom in Trout Bayou – no fish kill reported
Feb Feb 17 19 unknown species

Navy English Cove (Deer Pt.)

Feb 21 1 sturgeon

Big Lagoon

Mar No fish kills reported
Apr No fish kills reported
May May 13 50 dead bonito

GOM side of Perdido Key

Jun No fish kills reported
Jul July 8 1 dead shark Navarre
July 10 Abnormal catfish caught in Escambia River
Aug No fish kills reported
Sep No fish kills reported
Oct No fish kills reported

 

Red Tide

 

NOT PRESENT ACROSS GULF COAST OF FLORIDA THIS WEEK

LOW TO VERY LEVELS REPORTED FROM MANATEE COUNTY

 

NOT PRESENT < 1000 cells / liter No problems

 

VERY LOW Ø  1000 – 10,000 cells / L Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish closure at > 5000 / L
LOW Ø  10,000 – 100,000 c/L Respiratory irritation; possible fish kill
MEDIUM Ø  100,000 – 1,000,000 c/L Respiratory irritation; probable fish kill
HIGH Ø  1,000,000 c/L All of the above including discolored water

 

Microplastics

 

SEP 8 – Sample collected from mouth of Escambia River – 1 fiber

 

Microplastics

Volunteers are needed to collect water samples for analysis. If interested contact me at roc1@ufl.edu

 

 

2016 Water Quality Report

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2016/12/19/2016-pensacola-bay-area-water-quality-report/.

 

 

 

HABITAT RESTORATION

 

 

Marine Debris Removal

We are need of volunteers to help with the OCEAN HOUR PROGRAM. Here is their current schedule.  If you would like to begin an Ocean Hour Project in your neighborhood contact me roc1@ufl.edu.

Oct 14              Bay Bluffs and Scenic Bluffs Park – Scenic Highway

 

Oct 21              Visit Pensacola Visitors Center – north 3-mile Bridge (across from Project Greenshores)

Sign in is at 8:45 – Clean up 9:00 – 10:00

Website: https://www.oceanhourfl.com/.

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oceanhourfl

 

Living Shorelines

 

If you have waterfront property and are interested in restoring, contact me and we will begin the assessment. You can learn more about the process by visiting or website: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/permitting-living-shorelines/.

 

 

Turtle Friendly Beaches

All Pensacola Beach residents should be aware that they must be compliant with the Escambia County Exterior Light ordinance by 2018.

THE SEA TURTLE CONSERVANCY HAS FUNDS TO ASSIST.

(352) 373-6441; www.conserveturtles.org

 

You can read more about the lighting ordinance by visiting

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/01/03/escambia-county-fl-turtle-lighting-ordinance/

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/01/04/the-sea-turtle-conservancy-can-help-you-become-turtle-friendly/

 

 

Mangroves

There are currently 9 red mangroves growing in Big Lagoon.

If you believe you have found a mangrove, please contact me at roc1@ufl.edu.

 

 

 

COASTAL WILDLIFE

 

 

Diamondback Terrapins –

Peak nesting season has ended but there are still opportunities to survey for this animal. If interested contact me. The 2017 report will be posted by end of year.

 

Horseshoe Crabs

We need volunteers to survey local beaches for the presence of this unique animal. Below are peak times to find pairs laying eggs along the shoreline.  If you find please contact and let us know.

 

Fall nesting searches will begin in September

Best possible nesting locations are in Big Lagoon and Santa Rosa Sound

Best dates and times to search for nesting Horseshoe Crabs are:

 

SEP FULL MOON – Sep 6

Sep 5    11:00 AM until 2:00 PM

Sep 6    12:00 PM until 3:00 PM

Sep 7    1:00 PM until 4:00 PM

 

SEP NEW MOON – Sep 19

Sep 18  10:00 AM until 1:00 PM

Sep 19  11:30 AM until 2:30 PM

Sep 20  1:30 AM until 4:30 AM;   1:00 PM until 4:00 PM

 

OCT FULL MOON – Oct 5

Oct 4    1:30 AM until 4:30 AM;   11:30 AM until 2:30 PM

Oct 5    12:00 AM until 3:00 AM;   1:30 PM until 3:30 PM

Oct 6    11:30 PM until 1:30 AM

 

OCT NEW MOON – Oct 19

Oct 18  11:00 PM (Oct 17) until 2:00 AM;   1:30 PM until 4:30 PM

Oct 19  11:00 PM (Oct 18) until 2:00 AM

Oct 20  11:00 PM (Oct 19) until 2:00 AM;   11:00 PM until 1:00 AM (Oct 21)

 

Locations reported for Horseshoe Crabs

  • REPORTED – Little Sabine, Tarkiln Bayou, Robertson’s Island
  • VERIFIED MOLTS – Deadman’s Island, Big Sabine, Ft. Pickens
  • VERIFIED LIVE ANIMALS – Big Sabine

 

ARTICLE ABOUT THE NATURAL HISTORY OF HORSESHOE CRABS CAN BE FOUND AT http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/04/11/horseshoe-crab-the-ancient-mariner/.

 

If you find either a horseshoe crab or the molt of one, please let us know.

 

Bay Scallop – THE GREAT SCALLOP SEARCH 2017

 

ALL ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MET WITH RAIN!

We are now working with individuals at a variety of times to assist us with monitoring for scallop. If you are interested in helping contact CHRIS VERLINDE (contact below) for Santa Rosa Sound, or RICK O’CONNOR (below) for Big Lagoon.

 

Volunteers will need their own mask fins and snorkel

You should have a team of no fewer than 3

Some locations require a boat, others do not, please let us know if you are a boat team

 

You can read the 2016 scallop report at

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2016/11/14/2016-great-scallop-survey/

 

 

Goliath Grouper

Dr. Angela Collins, Florida Sea Grant, is tracking goliath grouper throughout the state of Florida. She is particularly interested in records from the panhandle and has an easy way to report.  If you fish or dive and encounter one of these fish, please visit the follow website and report it.

http://portal.gulfcouncil.org/GoliathGrouper.html

 

 

Manatees

There have been numerous sightings of manatees in our area recently. If you spot a manatee you can report the location to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Manatee Sighting Network.  1-866-493-5803.  http://manatee.disl.org/.

 

Cottonmouth

Fact sheet can be found at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/07/31/cottonmouth-agkistrodon-piscivorus/.

 

Alligator

Article can be found at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/09/15/the-american-alligator-a-new-nuisance-for-the-panhandle/.

 

 

Invasive Species – Early Detection Rapid Response

The most effective way to deal with invasive species is to catch and eliminate them early. YOU can help by reporting invasive species at http://www.eddmaps.org/. Or on the I’ve Got One App.  (see same website for details). 

 

THIS MONTH’S EDRR SPECIES IS – Skunk Vine (Paederia foetida

 

Skunk Vine – according to EDDmaps, there are NO records of this plant west of the Apalachicola River – PLEASE REPORT

 

Found in sandhills, upland mixed forest, and flood plains

More information about plant found at http://www.fnai.org/Invasives/Paederia_foetida_FNAI.pdf.

 

 

2017 HALLOWEED

HALLOWEED is a program developed by state invasive species resource managers that models the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

During a specific time – Oct 28 – Nov 4 – we ask local residents to locate specific invasive species and report them on EDDmaps (http://www.eddmaps.org/ ) or the I’ve Got One app.  There are instructions on these sites on how to report.

 

FOR 2017 OUR HALLOWEED SPECIES TO REPORT IS COGONGRASS (Imperata cylindrica)

 

 

LIONFISH

 

And the winners are…FWC announces Lionfish Challenge recreational and commercial winners

 

Today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is announcing the winners of the 2017 Lionfish Challenge. A total of 26,321 lionfish were removed from Florida waters as part of the four-month challenge.

 

Ken Ayers Jr. of Panama City took home the recreational Lionfish King award with a total of 1,250 lionfish harvested. Joshua Livingston of Destin became Florida’s first Commercial Champion for his efforts in removing 4,560 pounds of lionfish (poundage equates to about 5,027 fish). On top of other prizes earned throughout the Challenge, the two winners were presented with a custom-made Fish Bone Design trophy and a “No Shoes Reefs” Engel 85 cooler.

 

A total of 120 recreational and commercial harvesters participated in the statewide lionfish removal incentive program, which ran from Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day May 20 (first Saturday after Mother’s Day annually) through Sept. 4.

 

A total of 8,901 lionfish were removed by recreational participants, and another 15,800 pounds were removed commercially (poundage equates to about 17,420 lionfish).

 

The FWC thanks all of those who participated in this year’s Lionfish Challenge. This program could not have been possible without the help of the 34 dive shops that served as checkpoints for recreational submissions and the generous support of the following sponsors: Engel Coolers, ZombieStickz Lionfish Eliminator and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.

 

While this year’s Lionfish Challenge may be over, there are still plenty of other great programs that encourage lionfish removal. Check out the new and improved Reef Rangers website (ReefRangers.com), which launched in early September. Participants that adopt a reef soon will receive a Reef Rangers Lionfish Control Team T-shirt and tank sticker.

 

 

HERE ARE THE RESULTS FROM THE 2017 LRAD TOURNAMENT

 

Pre-tournament tournament

  • 16 divers participated
  • 2175 lionfish submitted
  • Tim Shivers, Deepwater Mafia 1 – submitted the most (451 lionfish)

 

LRAD tournament

  • 12 dive teams participated
  • 3868 lionfish submitted
  • 1st place team – “Hang On” – submitted 926 lionfish
  • Largest lionfish – “Reef Cleaners” – 17.09 inches
  • Smallest lionfish – “Texas Lionfish Control Unit” – 2.91 iniches

 

TOTAL NUMBER OF LIONFISH SUBMITTED FOR EVENT – 6043

NUMBER WHO ATTENDED THE EVENT FOR EDUCATION AND TASTING – 5000

 

Lionfish Trap Study Moving Along

Coast Watch Alliance has been working with researchers to develop effective traps for lionfish. View video if one trap design at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6RDCl6Vl_M

 

Commercial Saltwater Products Lionfish to Sell Lionfish

If you are a diver and interested in harvesting lionfish commercially, contact Sea Grant Agent Rick O’Connor for information on how to get started. (850) 475-5230. Roc1@ufl.edu.

 

If you have private reefs that you feel may need to be cleaned of lionfish – contact me at the Extension Office or email.

 

 

BEACH VITEX

If you find this coastal plant – please report to the Escambia County Sea Grant Agent

Have new fact sheet posted. You can find it at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/03/20/invasive-species-beach-vitex/

 

CUBAN TREEFROGS

No Cuban Treefrogs have been verified from Escambia County. If you are interested in monitoring for Cuban Tree Frogs view this link to learn how to set up PVC pipe to do so. If you do decide to help us monitor – please contact me and let me know where in the area you are monitoring so we can keep track. Please report any sightings of CTF to the Escambia County Sea Grant Agent.

 

If you have questions please contact me. Roc1@ufl.edu (850) 475-5230.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw308

 

 

TEGU FOUND IN NAVARRE

No update on the escaped tegus in the Navarre area. If you find one please send photo and location to the Escambia County Sea Grant Agent.

 

CUBAN (BROWN) ANOLE

First reported from the East Hill area and then from Perdido reports are now coming in from Gulf Breeze. If you find one of these lizards please send photo and location to the Escambia County Sea Grant Agent.

Update – now considered established. We still need animals reported to EDDMaps or the Sea Grant Agent at roc1@ufl.edu or (850) 475-5230. We can provide information on how to control.

 

 

 

NATURE TOURISM

 

NATURALLY ESCAROSA

Discover the great coastal, upland, and wetland environments of the Pensacola Bay area by visiting a local nature trip. NATURALLY ESCAROSA provides information to tours including:

  • Farms
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Paddling
  • Fishing
  • Sailing
  • Diving
  • Biking

And more… visit the website at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/naturally-escarosa/index.php.

 

SEAFOOD

 

Local Seafood in Peak Season for October

 

Just Now Peaking

Flounder

Stone crab

Still in Peak Season

Mullet

Oyster

White shrimp

Swordfish

Yellowfin tuna

 

Always in Peak Season

Clamscultured in Cedar Key are available year round

Snapper – availability is dependent on current regulations, check with local markets

 

Source: Gulf Coast Seafood; Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation

 

2017 SCALLOP SEASON

CLOSED

Dixie and Taylor counties in the Big Bend

All state waters from the Suwannee River to Fenholloway River

 

CLOSED

All state waters from Pasco-Hernando county line to the Suwannee River Alligator Pass Day Beach #4 in Levey County. North and west of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County to the western most point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.

 

CLOSED

St. Joe Bay (Gulf County), West of St. Vincent Island (Franklin County)

Westward up to the Mexico Beach Canal (Bay County)

 

Bag and vessel limits throughout the entire bay scallop harvest zone will be 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel.

 

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

 

SCIENCE HOUR

These hour long presentations will be provided at no cost. They will be presented on the 3rd Thursday of each month beginning next week.  Presentations will be held at Central Office Complex at 3363 West Park Place from 6:00 – 7:00 PM

 

TOPICS:

 

Jun 15              Climate Change This is a hot topic, what does it mean for NW FL?

Jul 20               Green Roof                  Will discuss the county’s green roof and other designs

Aug 17             Scallop Search             An update on scallop surveys in Pensacola Bay area

Sep 21              Local Water Quality     Will discuss local WQ issues and solutions

Oct 19             Bats                             Will discuss local bats and their benefits

Nov 16             Stormwater                   Discuss the issue and some low impact designs to help

 

 

PANHANDLE OUTDOORS

Oct 24              Coastal Dune Lakes                  South Walton Co.

                        https://www.eventbrite.com/e/panhandle-outdoor-live-water-school-economic-environmental-and-social-issues-impacting-the-coastal-tickets-38737820865

 

 

Oct 26              Natural Resource Field Day      UF West Florida Research and Education Center – Jay

                                https://www.eventbrite.com/e/panhandle-outdoors-live-2017-tickets-38411817781

 

FLORIDA MASTER NATURALIST PROGRAM

 

Oct 17,18,24               Coastal Restoration Course    http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/courses.html#habitat.

 

 

WILDFEST – WILDLIFE SANCTUARY OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA

MOVED TO OCT 14 DUE TO NATE

12:00 – 3:00

For more information contact ws@wildlife.gccoxmail.com

 

 

HALLOWEED! Training for citizen scientists reporting invasive plants during Halloween

 

Oct 10             Navarre Beach Visitors Center           10:00 AM

Santa Rosa Extension Office              6:00 PM

 

Oct 17             Escambia Extension Office                5:30 PM

 

Oct 24             Escambia Extension Office                 5:30 PM

 

 

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

 

 


 

 

 

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!