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Jim Oppenborn, Marine Resource Coordinator, St. Lucie

  Broadcast in Environment

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(347) 850-1648

In order to provide better areas to fish and dive and to enhance local fisheries, artificial reefs are being deployed to provide additional hardbottom areas.  These reefs have been created using donated heavy concrete and steel materials like culverts, concrete pilings, light poles, and steel vessels. We also talk lionfish. Why are they a hazard?

Recent Developments

In December 2012 and January 2013, four barges of light poles donated from Florida Power and Light were deployed to create two reefs.  The first reef, located in 62-foot depths, had a profile of 27 feet, while the second reef, located in 102-foot depths, had a profile of 25 feet.  Post deployment dives on the reefs showed fishes (i.e. triggerfish, black seabass, pelagic baitfish) already utilizing this new habitat.

All of these artificial reefs were deployed with the help of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Artificial Reef Construction Grant.  The reefs help provide destinations for recreational anglers and divers and habitat for over 110 species of fish and numerous invertebrates.

To get involved in the volunteer artificial reef monitoring program, report fishing catches on the artificial reefs, please contact Jim Oppenborn, Marine Resource Coordinator, at  oppenbornj@stlucieco.org.

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