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Sea Grant Notes – Dec 13, 2019

December 13, 2019                                        Sea Grant Notes

 

 

FIRST PROGRAM OF 2020 READY TO GO – NATURE TOURISM

UF IFAS Extension is working with Florida State University / Panama City and Explore Northwest Florida to coordinate their first Northwest Florida Nature Tourism Summit in Panama City.

Feb 25, 2020

$20 registration

There will be speaker tracks for ecotourism business owners and those interested in getting started, as well as students and outdoor enthusiasts. UF IFAS Extension will have a booth on the Florida Master Naturalist Program and have offered to serve as speakers as they finalize their list.

Ecotourism Summit Registration Link: https://explore-nothwest-florida.yapsody.com/event/index/483466?ref=ebtn

More about Explore Northwest Florida: https://explorenwflorida.com/

 

HORSESHOE CRAB WATCH

This weekend there will be spring tides and that means nesting for local horseshoe crabs.

The high tides are running around midnight, but you MIGHT see the animals near the beach during daylight hours.  If you do… contact us and let us know where.

 

2020 FWC LIONFISH CHALLENGE WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Recreational Winner: Ken Ayers (Bay County) – 1194 lionfish

Commercial Winner: Joshua Livingston (Okaloosa County) – 3192.8 lbs.

FINAL STATS FOR 2020 LIONFISH CHALLENGE

23,451 lionfish removed

349 registered

148 submitted lionfish (134 recreational, 14 commercial)

The Lionfish Challenge ran from May 18 – Sep 2

 

2019 HEALTHY BAY REPORT CARD IS OUT

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/11/14/2019-healthy-bay-report-card/.

 

 

This Week

No programs this month – HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

Current Articles

 

No current articles

 

Water Quality  

 

Health Advisories

  • Sanders Beach – GOOD
  • Bayou Texar – POOR; HEALTH ADVISORY ISSUED
  • 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 (7.4”) – spring = 14.7”
  • Jul (5.0’*) Aug (8.0”) Sep (0.0”) – summer = 13.0”*
  • Oct (6.2”) Nov (1.6”) Dec (2.0”)
  • * Sea Grant was not available to monitor rain gauge in July – gauge indicated 5” during the month in East Hill

Red Tide

  • Last report was posted Dec 11 (FWC)
  • Panhandle – Red tide was detected at background levels from sample in Bay County
  • SW Florida – detected in Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties; FISH KILLS in Charlotte, and Collier counties; RESPIRATORY ISSUES in Lee, and Collier counties.  
  • East Coast of FL – not detected.

Fish Kills

  • FWC Fish Kill Website was down Dec 12
  • No Fish Kills reported in November – abnormal lionfish reported offshore of Navarre Beach
  • 12 fish kills reported in October
  • 2 fish kills reported in August.
  • 3 fish kills reported in September
  • No other reports this year.
  • Report fish kills to FWC at – https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Citizen Science Water Quality Data Report is out https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/11/14/2019-healthy-bay-report-card/.  

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups TBD   

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided

  • Living Shorelines

The best time to have a living shoreline planted is the fall and winter.  Contact me if interested in learning more.

 

Wildlife & Fisheries

 

  • Horseshoe Crab Watch
  • – October begins the fall survey season for nesting horseshoe crabs. They nest along shore during the high tides of the full and new moons.  Best days and times to search: Contact me if you find one.
  • – Dec 13, 14, 24, 25, 26
  • Diamondback terrapin survey report https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/11/14/2019-healthy-bay-report-card/
  • The Great Scallop Search results https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2019/11/14/2019-healthy-bay-report-card/.  
  • FWC BEAR MANAGEMENT 2020 –
  • – Commissioners approved the updated Bear Management Plan, which reflects a comprehensive, science-based approach.
  • – FWC staff will continue to focus on reducing human-bear conflicts by promoting the use of bear-resistant trash cans and removing bears that pose a safety threat.
  • – There was no proposal to hunt, but it is an important tool in the toolbox for managing bear populations.
  • – FWC staff will continue to explore options on population management in the future, knowing bear hunting could be added to an agenda by an FWC chairman.
  • – FWC staff will continue education and outreach to the public in general and regarding human-bear conflict and population management.
  • LANE SNAPPER CLOSING IN GULF WATERS DEC 13-31

 

Invasive Species

 

  • Beach Vitex
  • – For 2019 we have identified 73 sites from Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Perdido Key, and Perdido Bay.
  • – 81% have either been removed or are under treatment at this time.
  • – 2020 we will continue to survey and have removal workdays. If you think you may have this plant on your property, please contact us. 
  • Invasive Lionfish
  • FWC HONORS THE 2020 LIONFISH CHALLENGE WINNERS

Recreational Winner: Ken Ayers (Bay County) – 1194 lionfish

Commercial Winner: Joshua Livingston (Okaloosa County) – 3192.8 lbs.

FINAL STATS FOR 2020 LIONFISH CHALLENGE

23,451 lionfish removed

349 registered

148 submitted lionfish (134 recreational, 14 commercial)

The Lionfish Challenge ran from May 18 – Sep 2

  • – 4 Lionfish were found near the Ft. Pickens fishing pier while they were conducting an underwater clean-up there. We continue to survey for lionfish in the Ft. Pickens area.  If anyone finds lionfish inside Pensacola Bay, please report location to us.
  • Regal Damselfish – Is an invasive species that FWC and UF are watching for. Reports of this species on local reefs have been occurring (along with video).  These are difficult to capture and remove.  Hand nets are probably best bet at this time.  Please let us know if you see any of these while diving.
  • We will be developing an identification chart for other invasive fish species divers can help us look for in 2020.

 

Seafood

 

 

Environmental Literacy

 

  • No programs planned for December
  • 2020 Science Hour line up coming soon

 

Upcoming Programs

 

  • We have no more programs scheduled for 2019. We will post the 2020 Science Hour line up next week.
  • Northwest Florida Nature Tourism Summit – UF IFAS Extension is working with Florida State University / Panama City and Explore Northwest Florida to coordinate their first Northwest Florida Nature Tourism Summit in Panama City. Feb 25, 2020 $20 registration There will be speaker tracks for ecotourism business owners and those interested in getting started, as well as students and outdoor enthusiasts. UF IFAS Extension will have a booth on the Florida Master Naturalist Program and have offered to serve as speakers as they finalize their list.

Ecotourism Summit Registration Link: https://explore-nothwest-florida.yapsody.com/event/index/483466?ref=ebtn

More about Explore Northwest Florida: https://explorenwflorida.com/

  • 2020 Programs planned include: Septic & Sewers, Citizen Science monitoring trainings, Battling seagrass prop scars, Invasive species presentations – workshops – and removal workdays, HACCP workshops and ISTs for members of the seafood industry, Seafood @ Your Fingertips, Florida Master Naturalist, Panhandle Outdoors LIVE, and Science Hour. More info on these in the new year.

 

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 10       3
  Bayou Texar 3 1 1 1
  Sanders Beach 1 2 2 2
Feb 9       4
  Bayou Texar 1 1 2 2
  Sanders Beach 1 2 3 2
Mar 24       4
  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 35       6
  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 26       4
  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      
Jun 28       0
  Bayou Texar 3 1    
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 1 1    
  Bayou Grande 2      
  Big Lagoon SP 2      
  Casino Beach 2      
  Park East 2      
  Park West 2      
  Perdido Key SP 2      
  Quietwater 2      
  Opal Beach 2      
  Ft. Pickens 2      
Jul 44       4
  Bayou Texar 3   2 2
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico 2   1 1
  Bayou Grande 3      
  Big Lagoon SP 2 1    
  Casino Beach 3      
  Park East 3      
  Park West 3   2 1
  Perdido Key SP 3      
  Quietwater 3      
  Opal Beach 3   1  
  Ft. Pickens 1 1    
  Johnsons Beach 3      
Aug 57       7
  Bayou Texar 1   3 3
  Sanders Beach 4   3  
  Bayou Chico 1   3 3
  Bayou Grande   3 1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 3   1  
  Casino Beach 4   1  
  Park East 4      
  Park West 4      
  Perdido Key SP 4      
  Quietwater 3   2  
  Opal Beach 4      
  Ft. Pickens 3 1    
  Johnsons Beach 2 2    
Sep 46       4
  Bayou Texar 4      
  Sanders Beach 3 1    
  Bayou Chico     4 3
  Bayou Grande 1 2 1 1
  Big Lagoon SP 2 2    
  Casino Beach 3   1  
  Park East 4      
  Park West 3   1  
  Perdido Key SP 4      
  Quietwater 4      
  Opal Beach 2      
  Ft. Pickens 1   1  
  Johnsons Beach 1      
Oct 52       6
  Bayou Texar 5      
  Sanders Beach 4   1  
  Bayou Chico 2   3 3
  Bayou Grande 1 1 3 3
  Big Lagoon SP 5      
  Casino Beach 5      
  Park East 5      
  Park West 5      
  Perdido Key SP 5      
  Quietwater 5 2    
Nov 16       0
  Bayou Texar 7 1    
  Sanders Beach 7   1  
Dec          
  Bayou Texar 1   1 1
  Sanders Beach 2      
TOTAL 302 215 33 56 39
% OF SAMPLES         .13

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 50 16 .32
Sanders Beach 56 5 .09
Bayou Chico 25 14 .56
Bayou Grande 25 7 .28
Park West 27 1 .04
Casino Beach 26 1 .04

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  
June 0 0  
July – Johns Beach report – # unknown Unknown May have been discolored water
Aug 2 Unknown Dead catfish in lower Perdido Bay

Multiple species from Emerald Beach Park in Navarre

Sep 3 Unknown Unknown

Tarpon Perdido Key Beach

Mullet. Blue Crab. Sea Turtle @ Herron Bayou

Pond @ Tiger Point golf course

Oct 12 Unknown 11 reports of menhaden in Bayou Chico

1 report from Ramsey Beach on Perdido Bay

Nov 0 0  
Dec 0 0