north florida - wild florida - suwannee sound

By: marsHen , 11:13 AM GMT on March 04, 2013

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05:30, 30F, clear and cold. waning little-more-than half moon above the house. stars. roosters crowing. yellow dogs at back door. pup asleep on couch. stirring up lamb's milk. frost in the pasture. needles of ice on stock water.
08:05, low tide falling at CK. 39F, NE wind, 3 knts. big flock of ducks at #4 bridge. cormorants hanging on oyster bar. white pelicans in the shallows. chilly. wore 5 shirts, an old cashmere sweater, an alpaca vest, sweatpants, woolsocks, gloves, hat... and it was still cold when we were running. water temp. - 11C, 51F. sunny!
did 3 cold boat sets in 1.1m water with a chop. took a wave over the back of the waders but the vest soaked most of it up. catches were real low. no fish in the wavy set. less than 10 in the others. trawl catches were low in some areas. brought in 66 atlantic stingrays (Dasyatis sabina)in one trawl over grassbeds. caught a breeding aggregation. had to measure 20 and count the rest as we threw them back.. a dangerous catch and, I think, a record for the lab. flat fish and batfish made up the majority of the rest if the trawl catches.
lots of birds out - flocks of ducks, several loons in separate sightings. one loon taking a bath and preening. we trawled by him, maybe 20 ft. away. we were ignored. a handsome bird.
late morning we passed dolphins hunting off to the SW with flocks of seagulls circling. whatever they were catching, it evaded the trawl.
15:10, high tide at #4 bridge. airboat tour scared all birds away. airboat in back creeks, not good for the substrate.
16:00, 68F at back door. slight NW breeze, sunny. sat in the sun for awhile with the dogs.
17:40, low 50's, getting chilly. got 3 eggs.
19:10, 47F, clear. stars and planets out. orion bright in SE. jupiter and aldebaran. frost predicted again for tonight.

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About marsHen

marine biologist around the Suwannee River delta. Raise Cracker sheep on an old Cracker farm ~ 12 mi. (as the crow flies) from the Gulf.