north florida - wild florida - suwannee sound

By: marsHen , 12:18 PM GMT on March 05, 2014

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06:20, 49f, drizzling. roosters crowing. chilly north breeze. no sign of guardian who was up all night.. pup doesn't like the drizzle. don't look good for going out. guardian shows up just when I left. escorted me to gate.
08:30, but we went out anyway. mid tide falling at CK. NE wind, 8 knts. 50f. gray and overcast. brown pelicans and 1 great blue heron at oyster bar. a lot of dithering about sampling today. the other crew called their trip off. but after sitting at the ramp and watching the flags blow straight out with the wind increasing to 12 knts, we decided to give it a try. we could always come back in. which we didn't.
sampling the fishes in suwannee sound with the otter trawl and the bait seine doing offshore sets. catches were low all around except for one shore set at snake key where we pulled in lots of 2 species of killifish, and YOY pinfish and spot, and anchovies. netted 2 sheepshead minnows (Cyprinodon varigatus). don't find them much. one otter trawl was packed with star fish. another pulled in a dozen atlantic stingrays. and we had three trawls where we only pulled in 2 or 3 fish, batfish, mostly. the swift current with the opposing wind was probably to blame. it's hard for the trawl to fish right in those conditions although we did bring in a large amount of by-catch, mostly drift algae, so there just might not have been too many fishes out there.
water was very clear once we got beyond the out islands, despite the chop. visibility was over 1.5 to 2.5 meters depending on how close inshore we were. water temperatures had dropped from yesterday to 17C, 63f, which felt warm since the air temperatures were almost 10 degrees colder. it was choppy but not excessively so - not like it looked out towards the horizon. positively jagged seas out there. between the wind and the temperature it was cold. all 4 of us complained of the cold. our hands were wet and icy. and we were wearing a fair amount of clothes since all of us went to our trucks and put on extra clothing from the get-go.
saw one loon. ducks were sheltering in coves. white pelicans rested on the sand bars. cormorants were all over. there were other birds around but too far away to identify. one small pod of dophins inshore.
15:10, high tide at #4 bridge east wind down to 5 knts. 57f. a mist growing. fed cat who was napping on big net. a few ducks around bridge.
17:50, 52f at back door. overcast. drizzling. got no eggs. hay and feed to all. red rooster followed us around yard but hasn't figured out how to jump fences and get some of the grain. pup watches him closely. dragged dog house out of sheep yard and placed it in front yard for guardian who won't use it. making lima bean soup. got a fire going. pup and cat already sleeping in front of it.
21:00, 51f, very dark out. hardly any ambient light. guardian eating her dinner. pup imagines varmints down by the sheep barn. donkeys out in the woods. good night, moon. I know you are up there somewhere...

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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.