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Sea Grant Notes – July 24, 2020

Extension offices across the district are now slowly opening on a limited basis.  Some essential programs are being provided with limited attendance and social distancing.  It is still best to contact us by phone or email. 

 

Water Quality Updates 

 

Health Advisories

  • Jul 20Bayou Chico (POOR) ADVISORY ISSUED FOR BAYOU CHICO, Bayou Texar, Perdido Key SP (MODERATE),  Bayou Grande, Big Lagoon SP, Johnson’s Beach, Sanders Beach (GOOD)
  • Jul 21 – Casino Beach (MODERATE), Park East, Park West, Ft. Pickens, Opal Beach, and Quietwater Beach (GOOD)
  • See all data below

Rainfall  

  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • Jan (4.0) Feb (2.8) Mar (0.6) – Winter (7.4”)
  • Apr (3.2) May (1.6) Jun (6.5) – Spring (11.3”)
  • Jul (4.9)

Salinity

  • The objective to see who has a MEAN, MEDIAN, and MODE 20‰ of higher for seagrass and scallop restoration.
  • 2020 2nd Quarter Update
  • > 20‰: Big Sabine, Old River, Bayou Grande, Little Sabine, Kees Bayou, Big Lagoon,
  • < 20‰: Lower Perdido Bay,

Longnose Killifish Monitoring

  • Longnose killifish (Fundulus similis) is being used as an indicator of freshwater tributaries.
  • Project on hold due to COVID-19

Red Tide & Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Report Date – Jul 17
  • Not reported in the panhandle
  • Background levels at one station in Charlotte County
  • No reports from east coast of Florida
  • HABs not detected in panhandle this week

Fish Kills

  • Fish kill reported from Perdido Key – believed to be discarded baitfish.
  • No Fish Kills reported in Escambia / Santa Rosa for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun
  • Fish Kill reported at Navarre Beach in July – believed to be discarded baitfish
  • Report fish kills to FWC at – https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

 

Habitat Restoration Updates

 

  • Living Shorelines
  • – In the process of monitoring existing projects – reports coming. If interested in a living shoreline contact me.
  • Seagrass Monitoring
  • – We have begun monitoring in Big Lagoon. A few stations do need volunteers.  Some stations will require a boat to access.  If interested – contact me.
  • Mangrove Surveys
  • – We are surveying for mangroves in the bay area. Paddle craft needed for this, paddleboard works best.  If interested – contact me.
  • OCEAN HOUR – Suspending all clean ups for the time being

 

Wildlife Monitoring Updates

 

  • Terrapin Surveys – ongoing until Sep 30 – if interested contact me
  • Horseshoe Crabs – will resume in the fall – Oct 1
  • Barrier Island Cottonmouth Survey – ongoing until Sep 30 – 2 found – update report in fall
  • The Great Scallop Search – WE ARE PLANNING FOR THIS NOW – STAY TUNED
  • The Great Scavenger Hunt – planned for week of Sep 13-19; one on Perdido Key, one on Pensacola Beach – stay tuned
  • Manatee Watch – More of reports this week. Some post-dated but needed none the less.   Reports coming from the Gulf, the Sound, and Big Lagoon area.  40 reports since Jan 1
  • – PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH SIGHTINGS (roc1@ufl.edu)
  • – ALSO, APPORACH SHORE AND DOCKS SLOWLY WITH A LOOKOUT IF YOU CAN
  • IT IS BIRD NESTING SEASON ON OUR BARRIER ISLANDS – please slow down

 

Invasive Species Updates

 

  • Cuban Treefrog Records – there has been an increase in reports of these animals in our area. Read the following article to find out where and how to manage this before they become a bigger problem –

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/07/02/are-we-being-invaded-by-cuban-treefrogs-maybe/.  

  • Halloweed – coming in October
  • Lionfish
  • 2020 Emerald Coast Open – Sep 11-13 in Destin
  • Inshore Lionfish Surveys – on hold – IF YOU SEE ANY LIONFISH NEARSHORE OR IN THE BAY, PLEASE CONTACT ME
  • The Great Scavenger Hunt – scheduled for the week of Sep 13-19; one on Perdido Key, one on Pensacola Beach

 

Seafood in Peak Season for July

  • Rolling out of peak season
  • – Softshell blue crab
  • – Mahi-Mahi
  • In peak season
  • – Crawfish
  • – Brown shrimp (bay shrimp)
  • – Pink shrimp
  • – Rock shrimp
  • – White shrimp (Gulf shrimp)
  • – Snapper – check state limits and accessibility; change frequently
  • – Yellowfin tuna
  • Beginning peak season
  • – Flounder
  • – King Mackerel – children, pregnant women should only consume one serving a week
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.

 

Upcoming Programs

 

BITE SIZED SCIENCE WEBINARS

The Florida Sea Grant “Bite-Sized Science” webinar series has completed all NEW programs.  However, you can view any of the past ones by visiting http://bit.ly/bite-sizedscience

 

SEAFOOD @ YOUR FINGERTIPS

The live broadcast of the “Seafood @ Your Fingertips LIVE” have all been completed at this time.  New ones may be coming.  You can view any of the past programs by visiting the Florida Sea Grant Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/floridaseagrant/.

Or get the recipes at our website – https://www.flseagrant.org/.

 

Current Articles

 

Weekly “What is it?” – Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker      

Carrie Stevenson

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/category/natural-resources/.

 

Embrace the Gulf 2020 – The Cephalopods   

Continuing this series about the natural and cultural history of “The Pond”

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/category/natural-resources/.

 

2020 Year of the Turtle – WE HAVE COMPLETED ARTICLES ON ALL FLORIDA SPECIES  

You can find any species you are interested by visting the link below – find the search box near the top entitled “what can we help you with?” – and type in the turtle you are interested in.

https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/escambia/?topic=natural-resources#county-feed.

 

What the “Devil” is That?

This huge creepy thing is crawling around the panhandle this time of year

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

 

What is the Wildlife Up to This Summer?

We know what deer and turkey do during the colder months – what about during the hot ones?

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

 

2020 Year of the Turtle – the Gopher Tortoise

The last in this series – we end with the gopher tortoise

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

 

Storm Season and Mosquitoes – the Double Whammy

We know wet periods generate mosquitoes – did you know the dry do as well?  The double whammy

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

 

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

 

Health Advisory Frequency

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

Body of Water # of samples collected # of POOR reports # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 25 9 9 .36
Sanders Beach 22 3 0 .00
Bayou Chico 17 4 4 .24
Bayou Grande 16 5 5 .31
Big Lagoon SP 14 2 0 .00
Perdido Key SP 16 0 0 .00
Casino Beach 15 0 0 .00
Park East 15 1 0 .00
Park West 15 0 0 .00
Quietwater Beach 15 0 0 .00
Ft. Pickens 5 0 0 .00
Opal Beach 5 0 0 .00

 

 

Fish Kill Data provided by FWC (Escambia and Santa Rosa counties)

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  
Jun 0 0  
Jul 2 NR Baitfish at Navarre Beach and Perdido Key; probably a discard