Winter months bring cold water, unpredictable weather, and great white sharks to north Florida. Regardless of these less then encouraging variables underwater reef investigations continue. TISIRI visited two reef locations; a natural ledge reef and a artificial concrete reef habitat deployed in 2011.
The first reef visited was a 5 foot tall natural ledge system at an area known as Hospital Grounds to local offshore enthusiast. The ledge sits in about 100 feet of water and is home to a great diversity of sea life. We encountered large red snapper, gag grouper, and amberjack. A few pictures of the reef are below
Hospital Grounds Ledge Reef:
Later we visited a reef that was placed on the sea floor back in the summer of 2011. Although the reef is young it is already teaming with life. We observed a variety of invertebrate life forms colonizing the surface of the concrete including tunicates, barnacles, and sponges. We also observed several juvenile mangrove snapper and plenty of sea bass. See a few pictures captured at the reef site below.
Floyds Folley Concrete Reef: