north florida - wild florida - suwannee river delta

By: marsHen , 1:26 AM GMT on May 13, 2014

20:30, 77f, partly cloudy. waxing almost full moon in the east. mars dimmed by the bright moonlight but jupiter and the twins shining brightly in the western sky. a mist forming. yearling and adult deer browsing by sheep barn. pup wants to chase them.. guardian does but only to the boundary fence.
sampled the fish populations between moccasin and barnett creeks with the 600 ft. haul seine and the bait seine. today, low tide was like high tide due to flooding on the river. catches were fairly low with the bait seine. catches consisted of 4 different types of "anchovies", or silversides, and YOY menhaden, plus a few spot, finger mullet, and pinfish.
catch of the day was a 5 ft. sturgeon, caught between dan-may and barnett with the first set of the 600. a large, strong fish that resented being measured and resisted being thrown overboard; it disappeared once we got it back in the water. the 2nd pull brought in 11 lovely redfish, 1 sheepshead, and 4 juvenile black drum and several black crappie, a freshwater fish that we have been netting off the salt marsh for the past few months. the last set with the big seine was on an incoming tide over an oyster bar with breaking waves and netted pinfish, silver perch, spot, mullet, and 1 ladyfish. the net snagged on the oyster bar and waves broke over my head as I freed the net. did not want to use the boat as this seine is the old seine and didn't need the stress which would have ripped it. just finished mending it, too.
a lovely day, partly to mostly cloudy. wind, 12-15 knts. a hefty chopwith whitecaps and waves rolling onshore. air temps, upper 70's to low 80's. water temps, upper 70's. refreshing. water clarity very low due to tannin from the river. saw no alligators. saw few birds other than great egrets. the sawgrass is beginning to bloom.
coming back to the boat ramp, the tide was so high that the boat trailer began to float just as we were driving the boat on it. the bunker smashed into the bow, peeling back the fiberglass down to the marine plywood, effectively ending tomorrow's sampling since our other workboat is in the shop with engine problems..
the best laid plans ...
this journal was begun almost 3 years ago to plot, daily, a base-line study for the suwannee river delta and the piney woods that border it, with respect to weather, tides, and wildlife.
while daily entries will be discontinued, I will continue to report fishing effort, wildlife sightings, and weather events.

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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.