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Sea Grant Notes – Aug 28, 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.

 

Welcome September!  Hope you will not be as hot 😊

 

Panhandle Outdoors LIVE – Webinar – Wednesday Sep 2  

Identification and Management of Invasive Cogongrass

12:00 – 12:30 CDT

1:00 – 1:30 EDT

This series of webinars is replacing the Panhandle Outdoor LIVE program we typically do but cannot due to COVID-19.  The will broadcast the first and third Wednesdays of each month from August 19 through December.

You can find a calendar of all presentations at the link below.

You can register for a talk by clicking on the title.

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/panhandle-outdoors-live-online/.

 

Water Quality Updates

 

We have posted the 2020 LAKEWATCH Report on our website – https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/08/24/2020-pensacola-bay-lakewatch-report/  

 

Health Advisories

  • THERE WERE NO REPORTS POSTED THIS WEEK. MOST LIKELY DUE TO BAD WEATHER WITH TROPICAL STORM MARCO.  GENERALLY, AFTER HEAVY RAIN BACTERIA LEVELS ARE HIGH.  WE RECOMMEND IN THOSE HOT SPOTS (OUR BAYOUS) THAT YOU NOT SWIM UNTIL A REPORT IS POSTED.
  • 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 (7.1”)

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 – Aug 21
  • Red tide reported from samples in Sarasota and Charlotte counties in SW Florida
  • No red tide reported from the panhandle
  • No red tide reported from the east coast
  • Harmful Algal Blooms not detected in panhandle this week

Fish Kills

 

Habitat Restoration Updates

 

  • Living Shorelines
  • – ALL LIVING SHORELINES HAVE BEEN MONITORED. REPORT COMING VERY SOON.  If interested in a living shoreline contact me. 
  • Seagrass Monitoring
  • – We are monitoring in Big Lagoon and will end in September. Report will be in the fall.
  • Mangrove Surveys
  • – WE HAVE ONE MORE TRANSECT TO COVER. WITH 90% OF REPORTS IN – NO MANGROVES FOUND IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY THIS YEAR.
  • OCEAN HOUR – No report of a clean up tomorrow

 

Wildlife Monitoring Updates

 

  • Terrapin Surveys – One more month of surveying. Report coming out in the fall.  
  • Horseshoe Crabs – will resume in the fall – Oct 1 – IF COVID ALLOWS
  • Barrier Island Cottonmouth Survey – ongoing until Halloween – 13 snakes found / 4 were cottonmouths – update report in fall
  • The Great Scallop Search WE ARE READY TO BEGIN! This is to survey Big Lagoon.  You will need a team of 3 to do this survey.  Requires snorkel gear.  Underwater gloves recommended.  Some locations require a boat to reach.  Contact me if you would like to do this.
  • Manatee Watch – More of reports this week. Some post-dated but needed none the less.   Reports coming from all over the bay area.  57 reports since Jan 1
  • – PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH SIGHTINGS (roc1@ufl.edu)
  • – ALSO, APPROACH SHORE AND DOCKS SLOWLY WITH A LOOKOUT IF YOU CAN

 

Invasive Species Updates

 

  • Beach vitex – this is an invasive plant we are trying to stay ahead of. This time of year the lavender blossoms are falling and the spherical smoky gray seed pods are forming.  THESE SEED PODS ARE VIABLE IN SEAWATER FOR SEVERAL MONTHS – PLEASE REMOVE THEM IF YOU HAVE THIS PLANT GROWING ON YOUR PROPERTY.  If you would like information on how to remove this invasive plant, please contact me.
  • 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/.  

We had a webinar on this topic Aug 19 – you can view this by visiting the Panhandle Outdoors Facebook page – be sure to follow us!

  • Halloweed – coming in October – We will be removing beach vitex from Naval Live Oaks in Gulf Breeze if COVID will allow. More to come.
  • Lionfish
  • LRAD has been canceled – there are plans for one next spring!

 

Seafood in Peak Season for September

  • Rolling out of peak season
  • – Flounder
  • In peak season
  • – Clams
  • – 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
  • – Spanish mackerel
  • – Spiny lobster
  • – Yellowfin tuna
  • Beginning peak season
  • – Mullet
  • – Oyster
  • – Swordfish
  • 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

Sep 2 – Identification and Management of Invasive Cogongrass

12:00 – 12:30 CDT

1:00 – 1:30 EDT

Register, and see other webinars, at

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/panhandle-outdoors-live-online/.

 

BITE SIZED SCIENCE WEBINARS

WE’RE COMING BACK – MORE COOL WEBINARS ON MARINE RELATED TOPICS ARE BEING PLANNED AND SCHEDULED AS WE SPEAK – STAY TUNED. 

Round #1 is completed – however, you can view any of the past ones by visiting http://bit.ly/bite-sizedscience

 

 

SEAFOOD @ YOUR FINGERTIPS

WE ARE ALSO COMING BACK!  MORE COOL RECIPES AND SEAFOOD DISHES FOR YOU TO TRY – STAY TUNED. 

Round #1 have all been completed. 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?” – St. John’s Wort        

Carrie Stevenson

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

 

2020 LAKEWATCH Report

This annual report looks at nutrient, water clarity, and salinity data provided by our LAKEWATCH volunteers on local waterways.

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

 

MEET OUR PANHANDLE OUTDOORS AUTHORS – CARRIE STEVENSON

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

 

When is a Muscadine a Scuppernong?

Franklin County Agent Erik Lovestrand

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

 

It’s Not Too Late to Prep Your Landscape for Storm Season

Gulf County Agent Ray Bodrey

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 29 10 10 .34
Sanders Beach 26 3 0 .00
Bayou Chico 21 4 4 .19
Bayou Grande 20 6 6 .30
Big Lagoon SP 18 2 0 .00
Perdido Key SP 20 0 0 .00
Casino Beach 19 0 0 .00
Park East 19 1 0 .00
Park West 19 1 0 .00
Quietwater Beach 19 0 0 .00
Ft. Pickens 7 0 0 .00
Opal Beach 7 0 0 .00
TOTAL 224 27 20 .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