Sea Grant Notes – June 7, 2019

June 7, 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.

 

Jun 10 – Boating Safety Symposium – Escambia County Marine Advisory Meeting

Central Office Complex – 3363 West Park Place – room 104 – 5:30 PM – free

 

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.

 

Jun 13 – Science Hour / Invasive Species

Join FWC biologist Don Buchanan and Sea Grant Agent Rick O’Connor as they discuss local invasive species issues.

Escambia County Central Office Complex

3363 West Park Place

6:00 PM

 

New 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

  • NO HEALTH ADVISORIES THIS WEEK
  • 2 stations were sampled this week; both on June 3
  • GOOD – Bayou Texar and Sanders Beach
  • 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 (4.5”)

Red Tide

  • Last report issued was May 31 (FWC)
  • Red tide was reported with background levels in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties in SW FL

Fish Kills

  • No fish kills reported from the Pensacola Bay area for June 2019 (FWC).

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 15 – Drowsy Poet, Pensacola Beach Marina (upstairs), 655 Pensacola Beach Blvd, 11:00 AM

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups Jun 8
  • – Bay Bluffs – Scenic Highway
  • – Chimney Park – Scenic Highway

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided

  • Mangrove Surveys Have Begun
  • – We have surveyed 4 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

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

 

Wildlife

 

  • Horseshoe Crab Nesting Search
  • – Locations where HCs have been reported: Big Sabine, Little Sabine, Project Greenshores, Deadman’s Island, Bayou Grande, Big Lagoon, Innerarity Point, Tarkiln Bayou, Robinson Island AL
  • – No nesting has been observed yet but male/female pairs have been seen at Innerarity Point and Little Sabine
  • Diamondback terrapins
  • – Nesting continues. We had reports from Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Gulf counties.
  • – Raccoon predation of these nests remains high in Escambia County.
  • Snakes
  • – We continue to survey for snakes near Perdido Key. No snakes observed.
  • – Expect snake activity to increase during this heavy rain.
  • Manatees
  • – Manatee sightings have been reported in the ICWW near Ft. Pickens and Old River. Remain in boat channels while traveling to your destination.  If you must leave the channel to reach your destination, slow your speed and have a look out.
  • – 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 13 – Central Office Complex, Science Hour, 6:00 PM
  • – Jun 25 – Downtown Library, 239 N. Spring St., 6:00 PM
  • – Aug 6 – Drowsy Poet, Pensacola Beach Marina (upstairs), 655 Pensacola Beach Blvd 11:00
  • – 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.
  • Recreational Red Snapper Season begins June 11 in both state and federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 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
  • 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
  • – Jun 13 Invasive Species                                   Don Buchanon (FWC) Rick O’Connor
  • – 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

 

New Articles

 

 

 

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 13 – Science Hour: Local Invasive Species. Presentation will be at the Escambia County Central Office Complex, 3363 West Park Place.  6:00 PM.  Free.
  • 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 1      
  Sanders Beach 1      
  Bayou Chico        
  Bayou Grande        
  Big Lagoon SP        
  Casino Beach        
  Park East        
  Park West        
  Perdido Key SP        
  Quietwater        
  Opal Beach        
  Ft. Pickens        
TOTAL  108 samples 70 13 25 21
% OF SAMPLES         .19

 

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 23 10 .44
Sanders Beach 25 5 .20
Bayou Chico 7 4 .57
Bayou Grande 7 2 .29

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