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Sea Grant Notes – Aug 7, 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.

 

Scallop Season Opening in One Week

Scallop season will be opening in St. Joe August 16 and will remain open until September 24.  State waters open for scalloping in this area extend from Mexico Beach in Bay County to St. Vincent Island in Franklin.  There is a restoration area south of Black Island in St. Joe Bay that is marked and off limits to harvest, anchoring, or other.

GET YOUR SNORKEL GEAR READY.

 

Water Quality Updates 

 

Health Advisories

  • Aug 3 – Bayou Chico (MODERATE), Bayou Grande, Bayou Texar, Big Lagoon SP, Johnsons Beach, Sanders Beach, Perdido Key SP (GOOD)
  • Aug 4 – Casino Beach, Park East, Park West, Ft. Pickens, Opal Beach, 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 (9.1”) Aug (0.0”)

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 31
  • Red tide not reported anywhere in Florida the week prior to July 31
  • HABs not detected in panhandle this week

Fish Kills

 

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 – 3 found – update report in fall
  • The Great Scallop Search – Waiting on permits and ready to begin
  • 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.  53 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 August

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

 

Upcoming Programs

 

PANHANDLE OUTDOORS LIVE – WEBINAR

Aug 19 – Invasive Species: Those Nursery Hitchhikers

12:00 – 12:30 CDT

1:00 – 1:30 EDT

This is the first of a series of webinars focusing on Panhandle Outdoor issue and topics.

We kick off with a presentation by Okaloosa Agent Shelia Dunning and Escambia Agent Rick O’Connor on invasive species in the nursery industry.

Pre-registration is required

https://ufl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwpf-2trzouH9x2IafUmamYkZPkVVQy-64d

 

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?” – Bagworm       

Carrie Stevenson

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

 

Climate Change and Future Hurricanes

Wat are scientists saying?

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

 

CARES Act Funding in the Pipeline for the Hard-hit Fishing Industry

Money will be coming, those involved in commercial or recreational harvest for hire, should check out links on how to prepare for the applications when they come

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

 

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

You can find any species you are interested by visiting 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.

 

 

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 27 9 9 .35
Sanders Beach 24 3 0 .00
Bayou Chico 19 4 4 .21
Bayou Grande 18 5 5 .28
Big Lagoon SP 16 2 0 .00
Perdido Key SP 18 0 0 .00
Casino Beach 17 0 0 .00
Park East 17 1 0 .00
Park West 17 0 0 .00
Quietwater Beach 17 0 0 .00
Ft. Pickens 6 0 0 .00
Opal Beach 6 0 0 .00
TOTAL 202 24 18 .09

 

 

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
Aug 0 0  
TOTAL 2 0