Survey Report #2 for Escambia County Artificial Reef Sites

(Please Note: As each subsequent report is based on a cumulative, larger scale of information, the format for each new report will change. For this report, a conservative approach was utilized. The abundance for a species sighted in more than one dive at a given location was reported to be the least value of abundance surveyed. (For example, if the Atlantic Spadefish seen at a site by two divers was reported to be of abundance code "M" by one diver and abundance code "A" by the other diver, the lesser abundance sighted, "M", was given for that species at that site in this report.) A code of double asterisks was placed next to species only reported in one survey in order to allow the reader the benefit of knowing that some sightings not reinforced by later surveys may be a misidentification. This knowledge is useful especially in our area where large-scale fish surveying is new, and some species are not yet recorded. Also, surveys reported by new volunteers are more likely have less species and numbers due to the process of learning new species and learning how to use surveying techniques while diving. A species encountered for the first time will most likely not be recorded for that dive. The surveyors are encouraged to wait until the next dive to report the fish when the key identifiers are known to distinguish the fish from similar species. With time, knowing more species allows surveyors to quickly identify common species, know which identifiers to record to look up unknown species, and to become more aware of less apparent fish, such as small benthic and juvenile fishes. Therefore, in several instances, the actual populations may well be larger than reported.)



Visual fish surveys were performed using the Roving Diver Technique (RDT) employed by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) to record species and abundance. To combine the results of several surveys on each site, each species sited was included, but the estimated abundance is reported as the least amount recorded.


As per the REEF survey method, all positively identifiable species were recorded, and a relative abundance code was assigned to each. The abundance codes were assigned as follows:


(S)ingle 1 individual
(F)ew 2-10 individuals
(M)any 11-100 individuals
(A)bundant >100 individuals


Site#1: Blackwater Bridge Rubble Site 15-G
Latitude 30 11.80' N, Longitude 87 14.17' W
Dates of survey: July 11, 1999 ; July 15, 1999; and July 30,1999
Surveyed by: Greg Bunch, Danielle Dowdy, Mark Bryant, Alan Manning, and Debbie Manning
Method: 10 open water SCUBA dives were done on the site. Bottom times were as follows:

Date_____Start time____Max depth (feet)____Bottom time (minutes)___ Diver_
7/11/99.........11:00.....................70-79...............................45.........................G. Bunch 7/11/99.........09:00.....................70-79...............................32.........................M. Bryant 7/11/99.........09:00.....................70-79...............................51......................A. Manning 7/11/99.........10:00.....................70-79...............................42.........................M. Bryant 7/11/99.........11:00.....................70-79...............................45.........................D. Dowdy 7/11/99.........12:00.....................70-79...............................38.........................G. Bunch 7/15/99.........10:00.....................70-79...............................38.........................D. Dowdy 7/15/99.........13:00.....................70-79...............................36.........................D. Dowdy 7/30/99.........12:00.....................70-79...............................46.........................G. Bunch 7/30/99.........12:00.....................70-79...............................47.........................D. Dowdy


Common name_______________Proper name_____________Abundance code
Seaweed blenny....................Parablennius marmoreus................................F
Tomtate....................................Haemulon aurolineatum.................................M
Cubbyu.......................................Equetus umbrosus........................................F
Blue angelfish........................Holacanthus bermudensis...............................F
Whitespotted soapfish...............Rypticus maculatus.....................................F
Gray snapper...............................Lutjanus griseus..........................................F
Slippery dick.............................Halichoeres bivittatus....................................F
Belted sandfish.........................Serranus subligarius......................................F
Spotfin butterflyfish..................Chaetodon ocellatus.......................................F
Cocoa damselfish......................Stegastes variabilis.....................................S*
Great barracuda......................Sphyraena barracuda.....................................S
Purple reeffish...............................Chromis scotti............................................F
Leopard toadfish..........................Opsanus pardus.........................................S
Yellowmouth grouper............Mycteroperca interstitialis.................................S
Greater amberjack........................Seriola dumerili..........................................F
Spanish mackerel.................Scomberomorus maculatus..............................F
Yellowtail reeffish....................Chromis enchrysurus........................................S
Barbfish...................................Scorpaena brasiliensis...................................S
Sheepshead......................Archosargus probatocephalus.............................S
Twospot cardinalfish............Apogon pseudomaculatus.................................F
Bank seabass...........................Centropristis ocyurus....................................S
Planehead filefish....................Monacanthus hispidus....................................S
Atlantic spadefish.....................Chaetodipterus faber.....................................F
Beaugregory............................Stegastes leucostictus...................................S
Longfin Damselfish....................Stegastes diencaeus....................................M**
Gulf Flounder.............................Paralichthys albigutta....................................S**
Black Grouper...........................Mycteroperca bonaci.....................................F**
Greater Soapfish......................Rypticus saponaceus....................................M**
Red Snapper............................Lutjanus campechanus...................................F**
Harlequin Bass.............................Serranus tigrinus........................................F**
Little Tunny...............................Euthynnus alletteratus....................................F**


TOTAL POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED SPECIES: 31

(*Estimated abundances are presented in minimal abundance as seen in the Cocoa Damselfish. In 6 out of 7 surveys, the abundances for this species was assigned the code of F or M; however, to provide conservative data, the abundance was assigned the code of S based on a single survey. It is also notable that surveys reported by new volunteers are more likely have less species and numbers due to learning new species and how to use surveying techniques while diving. Therefore, in several instances, the actual populations may well be larger than reported.)

(**These species were reported in only one survey.)



Site#2: Fort Pickens-Jetties
National Seashore Park
Dates of survey: April 18, 1999 ; June 16, 1999; August 1,1999; and August 14, 1999
Surveyed by: Greg Bunch, Danielle Dowdy, Alan Manning, and Debbie Manning
Method: 7 open water SCUBA dives were done on the site. Bottom times were as follows:

Date_____Start time____Max depth (feet)____Bottom time (minutes)___ Diver_
4/18/99.........15:00.....................0-10.................................24..........................D. Dowdy
4/18/99.........15:00.....................0-10.................................24..........................G. Bunch
6/16/99.........11:00.....................30-39...............................31..........................D. Dowdy
8/01/99.........12:00.....................20-29...............................37........................A. Manning
8/01/99.........12:00.....................20-29...............................38........................D. Manning
8/14/99.........07:00.....................10-19...............................18........................A. Manning
8/14/99.........07:00.....................10-19...............................29........................D. Manning


Common name_______________Proper name_____________Abundance code
Tomtate....................................Haemulon aurolineatum.................................F
Cubbyu.......................................Equetus umbrosus......................................F**
Blue angelfish........................Holacanthus bermudensis...............................S**
Whitespotted soapfish...............Rypticus maculatus.....................................S**
Gray snapper...............................Lutjanus griseus.......................................F
Slippery dick.............................Halichoeres bivittatus....................................F
Belted sandfish.........................Serranus subligarius....................................S
Sheepshead......................Archosargus probatocephalus.............................S
Twospot cardinalfish............Apogon pseudomaculatus.................................S
Bank seabass...........................Centropristis ocyurus....................................F**
Atlantic spadefish.....................Chaetodipterus faber.....................................F
Beaugregory............................Stegastes leucostictus...................................S
Gulf Flounder.............................Paralichthys albigutta....................................S
Black Grouper...........................Mycteroperca bonaci.....................................S
Spotted Drum..............................Equetus punctatus.......................................S**
Bluestriped Grunt........................Haemulon sciurus........................................F
Ballonfish ..................................Diodon holocanthus.......................................S
Hairy Blenny............................Labrisomus nuchipinnis...................................F
Bicolor Damselfish....................Pomacentrus partitus.....................................F**
Colon Goby..............................Coryphopterus dicrus.....................................S
Striped Grunt..............................Haemulon striatum........................................F
Bandtail Puffer.........................Sphoeroides spengleri....................................S
Chub (Bermuda/Yellow).......Kyphosus sectatrix/incisor................................S**
Sergeant Major...........................Abudefduf saxatilis......................................F**
Atlantic Bumper...................Chloroscombrus chrysurus................................M**
Spottail Pinfish............................Diplodus holbrooki........................................M
Pigfish....................................Orthopristis chrysoptera..................................M**
Pygmy Seabass........................Serraniculus pumilio.......................................F**
Lined Seahorse.......................Hippocampus erectus......................................S


TOTAL POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED SPECIES: 29



Site#3: Navy Barge-Camel
Latitude 3011.19' N, Longitude 8714.75' W
Date of surveys: July 31, 1999
Surveyed by: Greg Bunch and Danielle Dowdy
Method: 2 open water SCUBA dives were done on the site. Bottom times were as follows:

Date_____Start time____Max depth (feet)____Bottom time (minutes)___ Diver_
7/31/99.........16:00.....................70-79...............................34..........................D. Dowdy
7/31/99.........16:00.....................70-79...............................34..........................G. Bunch


Common name_______________Proper name_____________Abundance code
Tomtate....................................Haemulon aurolineatum..................................F
Cubbyu.......................................Equetus umbrosus......................................F
Whitespotted soapfish...............Rypticus maculatus.....................................F
Gray snapper...............................Lutjanus griseus.......................................F
Slippery dick.............................Halichoeres bivittatus....................................S**
Belted sandfish.........................Serranus subligarius....................................S
Atlantic spadefish.....................Chaetodipterus faber.....................................S
Beaugregory............................Stegastes leucostictus...................................S
Seaweed blenny....................Parablennius marmoreus..................................F
Purple reeffish................................Chromis scotti...........................................S
Cocoa damselfish........................Stegastes variabilis......................................F
Planehead filefish....................Monacanthus hispidus.....................................S
Leopard toadfish...........................Opsanus pardus........................................S


TOTAL POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED SPECIES: 13



Site#4: Oops Barge
Latitude _____ N, Longitude ______ W
Date of surveys: July 31, 1999
Surveyed by: Greg Bunch and Danielle Dowdy
Method: 2 open water SCUBA dives were done on the site. Bottom times were as follows:

Date_____Start time____Max depth (feet)____Bottom time (minutes)___ Diver_
7/31/99.........18:00.....................70-79...............................34..........................D. Dowdy
7/31/99.........18:00.....................70-79...............................34..........................G. Bunch


Common name_______________Proper name_____________Abundance code
Tomtate....................................Haemulon aurolineatum.................................M
Cubbyu.......................................Equetus umbrosus......................................F
Whitespotted soapfish...............Rypticus maculatus.....................................M
Gray snapper...............................Lutjanus griseus.......................................F
Slippery dick.............................Halichoeres bivittatus....................................F
Belted sandfish.........................Serranus subligarius....................................F
Atlantic spadefish.....................Chaetodipterus faber.....................................F
Seaweed blenny....................Parablennius marmoreus..................................F
Purple reeffish................................Chromis scotti...........................................S
Cocoa damselfish........................Stegastes variabilis......................................F
Leopard toadfish...........................Opsanus pardus........................................S
Blue angelfish........................Holacanthus bermudensis...............................F
Scrawled cowfish.................Lactophrys quadricornis...................................F
Spotfin butterflyfish..................Chaetodon ocellatus.....................................S
Twospot cardinalfish............Apogon pseudomaculatus................................M
Yellowtail reeffish....................Chromis enchrysurus....................................S
Gag........................................Mycteroperca microlepis..................................S
Scamp.....................................Mycteroperca phenax.....................................S
Greater amberjack.......................Seriola dumerili............................................S**
Spanish mackerel...............Scomberomorus maculatus..................................F
Sheepshead....................Archosargus probatocephalus...............................S
Southern Stingray....................Dasyatis americana........................................S
Gray Triggerfish.........................Balistes capriscus........................................F
Red Snapper.........................Lutjanus campechanus......................................F


TOTAL POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED SPECIES: 24


Site#5: Russian Freighter Latitude 3011.33' N, Longitude 8713.09' W
Date of surveys: July 30, 1999
Surveyed by: Greg Bunch and Danielle Dowdy
Method: 2 open water SCUBA dives were done on the site. Bottom times were as follows:

Date_____Start time____Max depth (feet)____Bottom time (minutes)___ Diver_
7/30/99.........10:00.....................80-89...............................47..........................D. Dowdy
7/30/99.........10:00.....................70-79...............................47..........................G. Bunch


Common name_______________Proper name_____________Abundance code
Tomtate....................................Haemulon aurolineatum.................................A
Cubbyu.......................................Equetus umbrosus......................................F
Whitespotted soapfish...............Rypticus maculatus.....................................F
Gray snapper...............................Lutjanus griseus.......................................M**
Slippery dick.............................Halichoeres bivittatus....................................F
Belted sandfish.........................Serranus subligarius....................................F
Atlantic spadefish.....................Chaetodipterus faber.....................................A
Seaweed blenny....................Parablennius marmoreus..................................F**
Purple reeffish................................Chromis scotti...........................................F
Cocoa damselfish........................Stegastes variabilis......................................F
Leopard toadfish...........................Opsanus pardus........................................F
Blue angelfish........................Holacanthus bermudensis...............................S
Scrawled cowfish.................Lactophrys quadricornis...................................S
Spotfin butterflyfish..................Chaetodon ocellatus.....................................S
Twospot cardinalfish............Apogon pseudomaculatus................................S
Yellowtail reeffish....................Chromis enchrysurus....................................F
Scamp.....................................Mycteroperca phenax.....................................S**
Blue Runner.................................Caranx crysos............................................M
Great barracuda.....................Sphyraena barracuda......................................F
Planehead filefish...................Monacanthus hispidus.....................................S
Bank seabass........................Centropristis ocyurus.......................................S
Striped Burrfish.....................Chilomycterus schoepfi.....................................S**
Pigfish...................................Orthopristis chrysoptera....................................S**


TOTAL POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED SPECIES: 23



Please email all questions to info@reefngom.org.

You can now also find this data for Pensacola sites on REEF's online database!