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Sea Grant Notes – June 14, 2019

June 14, 2019                                         Sea Grant Notes

 

 

This Week

 

Jun 7-17 – The Goliath Grouper Count

This Sea Grant citizen science project asks SCUBA divers who frequent the same locations to report sightings of goliath grouper in our area.  The survey will run from June 7 through June 17.  If you are interested in participating contact me.

 

The Great Scallop Search

This annual event requires a team of no fewer than three to survey one of 11 grids within Big Lagoon.  Surveys require snorkeling and volunteers must supply their own snorkels.  Some locations require a boat to reach and they must supply their own boat.  Other survey equipment is provided by Florida Sea Grant.  If interested, contact me.

 

Current Articles

 

Prescribed Fire: Habitat Management Tool Number One – http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

Yellow flies, Deer flies, and Horse flies, Oh My! – http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

Manatees in Old River – http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/ 

 

 

Water Quality  

 

Health Advisories

  • DESPITE HEAVY RAINS – NO HEALTH ADVISORIES THIS WEEK
  • 13 stations were sampled this week; 7 on June 10, 6 ON June 11
  • GOOD – Sanders Beach, Quietwater, Perdido Key SP, Bayou Grande, Bayou Texar, Big Lagoon SP, Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Ft. Pickens, Johnson’s Beach, Opal Beach
  • MODERATE – Bayou Chico
  • 2019 data at end of these notes

Rainfall

  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • Jan (2.1”) Feb (1.5”) Mar (0.7”) – winter = 4.3”
  • Apr (6.3”) May (1.0”) June (4.8”)

Red Tide

  • Last report issued was June 7 (FWC)
  • Red tide was reported with background offshore of Okaloosa and Gulf counties in the panhandle
  • Red tide continues at background levels in Sarasota and Lee counties in SW Florida

Fish Kills

  • No fish kills reported from the Pensacola Bay area for June 2019 (FWC).
  • A dead sea turtle was reported from Santa Rosa Sound near Gulf Breeze – cause of death not listed

Planting to Improve Water Quality – Escambia County Water Quality and Land Management

  • The Escambia County Division of Water Quality and Land Management will be doing a series of plantings of aquatic plants in treatment islands to remove nutrients from area waterways and, later, be used in living shoreline projects in Pensacola Bay. Volunteers are needed.
  • Dates of plantings are June 25 and 28; July 9, 10, 11, and 12.
  • Due to heat, they will begin at 7:00 AM, there will be a canopy and water. Sun protection a must.
  • For more information contact Jimmie Jarrett at jnjarrat@myescambia.com

LAKEWATCH Nutrient Data

  • Report will be out in August

Killifish Report

  • Project under development; more soon.

REMEMBER

Florida Department of Environmental Protection opens their new interactive algal bloom dashboard https://floridadep.gov/algalbloom.

 

Bringing Back the Bayous Program – presentation on the state of the bay and how you can help

  • Aug 20 – Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring St. 6:00 PM
  • Oct 9 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups Jun 15
  • – Wayside Park and Graffiti Bridge
  • – William Bartram Park downtown

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided

  • Mangrove Surveys Have Begun
  • – We have surveyed 6 of the 10 selected locations – no mangroves have been found
  • – If you believe you have seen this plant growing in our marshes, please let us know
  • Seagrass Monitoring
  • – began May 1 a full update will be posted in the fall
  • Removing Invasive Species

With the help of the Pensacola Beach Advocates and members of Americorp, we removed 315 m2 of beach vitex form Pensacola Beach.  More to do – stay tune for next work day.

The following invasive plants have been found on our barrier islands and estuarine coast

 

Wildlife

 

  • Horseshoe Crab Nesting Search
  • – Sightings of horseshoe crabs continues but no reports of nesting activity yet.
  • – Full moon is this week, high tides will be running close to noon each day, if you see a horseshoe crab please contact me at roc1@ufl.edu
  • Diamondback terrapins
  • – Another terrapin was found in Escambia County this week along with two nests we believe have hatched.
  • – It has been a busy year for terrapins.
  • Snakes
  • – Snake activity picked up this week after the heavy rain.
  • Manatees
  • – Sightings continue, report of one in Gulf near Pensacola Fishing Pier this week.
  • – We lost three manatees in Escambia County in 2018. 2 to boat strikes and 1 to cold stress
  • – If you see a manatee, contact the manatee hotline at Dauphin Island Sea Lab; 1-866-493-5803 or manatee@disl.org.
  • Invasive Wildlife
  • Brown (Cuban Anoles) – best time to deal with them is in winter. More then.
  • Cuban Treefrogs – The have been reported in the New Orleans area. We can show you how to set up a treefrog collector and assist monitoring for the presence of this invasive frog in our area.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw259.
  • Invasive Species Presentations
  • – Jun 25 – Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring St., 6:00 PM
  • – Aug 13 – Margaritaville, Pensacola Beach, 165 Ft. Pickens Road, 5:00 PM
  • – Oct 22 – Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy, 6:00 PM

 

Fisheries

 

  • The Great Scallop Search
  • – Scallop surveys in Big Lagoon are on-going. We recommend a team of three to do these.  If interested contact me.       
  • 2019 Scallop Season
  • – Jun 15 – Sep 10: Dixie and parts of Taylor counties
  • – Jul 1 – Sep 24: Franklin, parts of Taylor, Levy, Citrus, and Hernando counties
  • – Jul 19-28: Pasco county
  • – Aug 16 – Sep 15: Gulf county
  • Scallop harvest is currently prohibited in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties; please let us know if you do find any live scallops.
  • Invasive Lionfish
  • Lionfish caught inside the Bay; lionfish was caught on hook and line from the Ft. Pickens fishing pier. We ask that any diver diving the Ft. Pickens area please report any sightings to me, or Robert Turpin with Escambia County Division of Marine Resources.
  • Report Skin Ulcerated Lionfish. The University of Florida is asking divers to report any cases of lionfish with skin ulcers to the FWC.  You can do this buy calling the FWC Hotline (1-800-636-0511), or visit public.myFWC.com/FWRI/FishKillReport/Submit.aspx, or use the FWC reporter app.  Information needed includes: (1) date of occurrence, (2) location, (3) water temperature, and (4) photos.  Read more at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa209.
  • 2019 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day / Emerald Coast Open: The Largest Lionfish Tournament in History. It was a record year for the annual lionfish event.

187 divers participated – record

$48,000 in cash prizes – most ever

5,048 LF turned in during pre-tournament – record

14,119 LF turned in during the weekend tournament – record

19,167 LF harvested total – record

  • Nearshore Lionfish Surveys will begin in June. If you see a lionfish near the beach or in the bay, please let us know.
  • Goliath Grouper Count (June 7-17)– Each year Florida Sea Grant conducts a goliath grouper count during the month of June. The objective is to determine the current range and relative abundance of these currently protected fish.  To participate you need to be a diver who dives the same locations on a regular basis during the month.  For data sheets contact Sea Grant Agent Rick O’Connor at (850) 475-5230 ext111. Or roc1@ufl.edu.

 

 

Seafood

 

  • Seafood @ Your Fingertips
  • – Presentation on local seafood, with samples
  • – August 6, Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, 6:00 PM
  • – October 15, Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring Street, 6:00 PM
  • Local Seafood in Peak Season for June   
  • – Softshell blue crab
  • – Cultured clams
  • – Crawfish
  • – Mahi-Mahi
  • – Pink shrimp
  • – Rock shrimp
  • – Brown shrimp
  • – White shrimp
  • – Snapper (check annual regulations)
  • – Yellowfin Tuna
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.

 

Environmental Literacy

 

  • 2019 SCIENCE HOUR SCHEDULE; programs are held at the Escambia County Central Office Complex; 3363 West Park Place; they begin at 6:00 PM and are free
  • – Jul 11 Mosquito Control                                  Matthew Mello, Escambia County
  • – Aug 8 Agnotology                                           Chris Fenner, UWF
  • – Sep 12 Genetically Modified Organisms            Libbie Johnson, County UF Extension
  • – Oct 10 Online Fact vs. Fiction                           Jane Daugherty, UWF
  • – Nov 14 Bay Bridge & Artificial Reefs                Robert Turpin, Escambia County

 

 

Upcoming Programs

 

  • Jun 7-17 – Goliath Grouper Count – Each year Florida Sea Grant conducts a goliath grouper count during the month of June. The objective is to determine the current range and relative abundance of these currently protected fish.  To participate you need to be a diver who dives the same locations on a regular basis during the month.  For data sheets contact Sea Grant Agent Rick O’Connor at (850) 475-5230 ext111. Or roc1@ufl.edu.
  • Jun 14 – Stormwater Impacts and Green Infrastructure Solutions – This workshop is targeting city and county planners, monitors, and engineers who work with stormwater issues and mitigation. The all day workshop will be held in Crestview.
  • Jun 25 – Invasive Species. This presentation will discuss local invasive species issues and management.  The presentation will be at the downtown library, 239 N. Spring Street.  It will begin at 6:00 PM and is free.
  • Jul 1 – Impacts of Oil Spills on Estuaries. Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Point MS.  Can watch online or visit in person.  Program is free but registration is required.  Find more information on program and registration at https://gulfseagrant.org/impacts-of-oil-spills-on-estuaries/.

 

 

HEALTH ADVISORY DATA

Enterococcus bacteria count rubric for health advisories (Florida Department of Health)

 

GOOD             0-35 colonies/100ml of sample

MODERATE    36-70 colonies/100ml

POOR              71> colonies/100ml

 

Data provided by the Florida Department of Health’s Healthy Beaches Program

Month Water Body Good Moderate Poor Health Advisory Issued
Jan Bayou Texar 3 1 1 1
  Sanders Beach 1 2 2 2
Feb Bayou Texar 1 1 2 2
  Sanders Beach 1 2 3 2
Mar Bayou Texar 2   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3   1  
  Bayou Chico     2 2
  Bayou Grande   2    
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 1 1    
  Quietwater 1   1  
Apr Bayou Texar 2   3 3
  Sanders Beach 3 1 1 1
  Bayou Chico 1 1 1 1
  Bayou Grande 2   1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 3      
  Casino Beach 3      
  Park East 3      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 3   1  
  Opal Beach 1      
  Ft. Pickens 1      
May Bayou Texar 2   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 1   1 1
  Bayou Grande 1   1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 1 1    
  Opal Beach 1      
  Ft. Pickens 1      
June Bayou Texar 2      
  Sanders Beach 2      
  Bayou Chico   1    
  Bayou Grande 1      
  Big Lagoon SP 1      
  Casino Beach 1      
  Park East 1      
  Park West 1      
  Perdido Key SP 1      
  Quietwater 1      
  Opal Beach 1      
  Ft. Pickens 1      
TOTAL 121 samples 82 14 25 21
% OF SAMPLES         .17

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 24 10 .42
Sanders Beach 26 5 .19
Bayou Chico 8 4 .50
Bayou Grande 8 2 .25

Fish Kill Data provided by FWC

Month # of Fish Kills reported # of Dead Fish reported Cause
Jan 0 0  
Feb 0 0  
Mar 0 0  
Apr 0 0  
May 0 0