Juvenile Snapper Houses in FH-14 - May 31, 2016

© Photos Posted by Mark Miller ©    Hi-Res Source
This was a trip to deploy 72 Juvenile Red Snapper Houses in FH-14. Fish Haven 14 is about 3.5 nautical miles at 225 from the West end of Horn Island in about 33 feet of water. These units were designed and deployed by the Mississippi DMR (Department of Marine Resources). The first deployment trip was on May 24 to deploy 88 units in FH-13. The winds were light from the Northwest creating a slight Southeast current. Buoys were used to position the Marantha, a 114'x30' utility vessel which utilized a 360 crane to deploy up to 4 units off each corner of the vessel. The Maranatha would hold her starboard bow corner near the buoy while deploying. Coordinates of the buoy and the port stern corner were recorded for each location. During the last set, MGFB observed that units were about to be deployed outside of the permitted boundaries and operations were halted while new coordinates were determined to meet permit requirements. The trip was successful and exact coordinates will be provided later as the current policy is to hold the coordinates for one year to give the reef time to get established.

After completetion, MGFB investigated a nearby archeological reef called the Josephine. This vessel is a 250 passenger, 235' Steam Paddlewheeler that began service in 1868 and met her fate off Biloxi on Feb 5, 1881. She had a 34' beam, an 18.5' draft, and was rated at 1283 tons. She was powered by a 50" Steam Engine with an 11 foot stroke. Her loss in 1881 was valued at $75,000. There is a good writeup on her at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management website, starting on Page 7. Surprisingly, she is still providing reef habitat after all these years and is the oldest wreck to my knowledge in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

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