Record Gulf of Mexico Lionfish Caught
Donald C. Vautrinot of Destin FL speared a record lionfish on Oct 18. He was searching for red snapper when he came across what was measured as an 18.19” lionfish. This is a new record for the Gulf of Mexico. The state record remains at 18.78” speared in the Florida Keys in 2015.
Youth Science Lessons – November Energy in the Ocean
LESSON 1 – TEMPERATURE & PRESSURE
September Lessons – The Nature of Science
October Lessons – The Water Planet
November Lessons – Energy in the Ocean
You can find these lessons by scrolling through the natural resource page of the Escambia County Extension website. There should be four lessons for each topic – one topic for each month.
Water Quality Updates
- Nov 2 – only three water bodies sampled
- POOR ADVISORY ISSUED: Bayou Chico
- MODERATE: Sanders Beach
- GOOD: Bayou Texar
- See all data below
- 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 (13.9”) Sep (21.2”) – Summer (44.2”) – HURRICANE SALLY
- Oct (4.2”) Nov (0.0”)
- The objective to see who has a MEAN, MEDIAN, and MODE 20‰ of higher for seagrass and scallop restoration. Our goal is to get at least 100 readings (n = 100) from each location.
- 2020 3rd Quarter Update
|Body of Water||No. of samples taken||Surface Mean salinity (‰)||Surface Median salinity||Surface Mode salinity|
|Lower Perdido Bay||71||15||15||14|
Red Tide & Harmful Algal Blooms
- Report Date – Oct 30
- SW Florida – background levels were detected in Manatee, Charlotte, and Lee counties
- Panhandle – was not detected
- East Florida – was not detected
- No fish kills reported this week.
- See 2020 numbers at the end of this newsletter
- Report fish kills to FWC at – https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.
Habitat Restoration Updates
- Living Shorelines
- – The living shorelines did very well during Hurricane Sally
- – All living shorelines have been monitored. Report update can be found at https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/09/14/living-shoreline-success-stories/.
- Seagrass Monitoring
- – Monitoring has stopped due to poor water quality from Hurricane Sally. Report coming later this year
- Mangrove Surveys
- – The 2020 mangrove surveys are now complete. No mangroves were found in Escambia County this year.
- OCEAN HOUR –
Until it is repaired – Ocean Hour will hold weekend clean ups on both sides of the 3-Mile Bridge so that people can reach them.
BACK TO REGULAR HOURS – Meet at 8:45 – Clean up from 9:00 – 10:00 AM
Wildlife Monitoring Updates
- Terrapin Surveys – Surveys are completed. Report coming out in the fall.
- Horseshoe Crabs – This project was not able to survey due to COVID issues. Will attempt again in the spring of 2021.
- Barrier Island Cottonmouth Survey – 2020 surveys are completed. Report coming soon.
- The Great Scallop Search – Surveys are completed. Report coming.
- Manatee Watch – More sightings this week. Reports coming from all over the bay area soon.
- 64 reports since Jan 1
- – PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH SIGHTINGS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- – ALSO, APPROACH SHORE AND DOCKS SLOWLY WITH A LOOKOUT IF YOU CAN
Invasive Species Updates
- Beach vitex – BEACH VITEX IS NOW LISTED AS A STATE NOXIOUS WEED. If you think you may have the plant, and want to remove it, 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 –
- – Small lionfish have once again been reported from the Ft. Pickens jetties. Please contact us if you see any while diving there
- NISAW (National Invasive Species Awareness Week) – coming February 2021
- Weed Wrangle – invasive plant removal work day – coming February 2021
- LRAD (Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day) – coming May 2021
- FLISAW (Florida Invasive Species Awareness Week) – coming May 2021
Seafood in Peak Season for November
- Rolling out of peak season
- – Yellowfin Tuna
- In peak season
- – Clams
- – Flounder
- – Mullet
- – Oyster
- – White shrimp (Gulf shrimp)
- – Snapper – check state limits and accessibility; change frequently
- – Spiny lobster
- – Stone crab
- – Swordfish
- Beginning peak season
- Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.
YOUTH SCIENCE LESSONS – every week
November focus – Energy in the Ocean
October focus – The Water Planet
September focus – The Nature of Science
One a week posted early in the week
You can find any of them by scrolling through the natural resource page of our website
SCIENCE HOUR – FACEBOOK LIVE – Nov 19
This month we will be with Beth Fugate (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) discussing restoration within our local aquatic preserves. Join us at 12:00 PM CDT on the Escambia County Extension Facebook
PANHANDLE OUTDOORS LIVE – WEBINAR – Nov 18
Drinking Water Quality and Wells: Why Should You Have Your Water Tested?
12:00 – 12:30 CDT
1:00 – 1:30 EDT
Register, and see other webinars, at
BITE SIZED SCIENCE WEBINARS – November
We will begin this month – the Spanish versions on Tuesdays and English on Thursdays
The programs will begin at 3:00 PM CDT
Tue Nov 3 – Floraciones de Algas Nocivas
Thu Nov 5- Entangled Pelican Rescue
Tue Nov 10 – Monitoreo de Arrecifes Artificiales
Thu Nov 12 – Sea Turtle Nesting in the Archie Carr NWR
Tue Nov 17 – Desechos Marinos
Thu Nov 19 – Snook Expansion Northward in the Gulf of Mexico
Pre-register is required, you can register at the link below.
SEAFOOD @ YOUR FINGERTIPS
MORE COOL RECIPES AND SEAFOOD DISHES FOR YOU TO TRY
5:00 PM CDT
Nov 4 – Shrimp Scampi
Nov 11 – Coconut Grouper Nuggets with Mango Chutney
Nov 18 – Pesto Pine Nut Trout Bake
You can view these, and 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/.
Weekly “What is it?” – Longleaf Pine
Carrie Stevenson – Escambia County
Fish Found in Our Local Seagrass
Rick O’Connor – Escambia County
Meet the Author: Shelia Dunning
Okaloosa County Horticulture Agent
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|
|Big Lagoon SP||20||1||1||.05|
|Perdido Key SP||22||0||0||.00|
NOTE: SEVERAL OF THESE WERE DUE TO HURRICANE SALLY
Fish Kill Data provided by FWC (Escambia and Santa Rosa counties)
|Month||# of Fish Kills reported||# of Dead Fish reported||Cause|
|Jul||2||NR||Baitfish at Navarre Beach and Perdido Key; probably a discard|
|Sep||2||NR||Fish kills occurred in two ponds (one in Pensacola and one in Gulf Breeze) during Hurricane Sally|