Sea Grant Notes – Oct 13, 2017
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
|Oct 8||Bayou Texar||Poor||Yes|
|Big Lagoon State Park||Poor||Yes|
Data provided by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health
To view all 2017 water quality data visit
ARTICLE ON ENTEROCOCCUS – THE BACTERIA USED IN MONITORING MARINE AND ESTUARINE WATERS FOR SEWAGE
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.
|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
|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|
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|
SEP 8 – Sample collected from mouth of Escambia River – 1 fiber
Volunteers are needed to collect water samples for analysis. If interested contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 Water Quality Report
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 email@example.com.
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
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oceanhourfl
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
There are currently 9 red mangroves growing in Big Lagoon.
If you believe you have found a mangrove, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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.
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/.
Fact sheet can be found at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2017/07/31/cottonmouth-agkistrodon-piscivorus/.
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.
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)
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
- 16 divers participated
- 2175 lionfish submitted
- Tim Shivers, Deepwater Mafia 1 – submitted the most (451 lionfish)
- 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.
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/
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.
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 email@example.com or (850) 475-5230. We can provide information on how to control.
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:
And more… visit the website at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/naturally-escarosa/index.php.
Local Seafood in Peak Season for October
Just Now Peaking
Still in Peak Season
Always in Peak Season
Clams – cultured 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
Dixie and Taylor counties in the Big Bend
All state waters from the Suwannee River to Fenholloway River
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.
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.
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
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
Oct 24 Coastal Dune Lakes South Walton Co.
Oct 26 Natural Resource Field Day UF West Florida Research and Education Center – Jay
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!