Merritt Island Report

Discussion in 'Florida Flyway Forum' started by CUT'EM ALL, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Waterfowl fool

    Waterfowl fool Elite Refuge Member

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    Sent you private email. letting everyone else know for their benifit. I agree with you totoally the "new age hunter" or "common sense of hunters" are near gone. A thing of the past. How many times now a days do you sneak into position only to have alight shine in your face. Years back if I saw a light in an area i didnt even bother going to that whole. Its just not safe and ethical.

    Now they sit right up your backside, they dont care what you say or do, and then they will pepper you all day with their 150 yards shots and their loud dogs that are worthless barking every ten minutes and running amuck. IT IS SAD I agree......I know it would re3ally stink to see this but I think they should limit the area's to PERMIT only. Year round. period. Because bitch as we all will nothing will change.......its just life nice guys finish last, or they have enough of everyone b/s and go postal. The refidge personel need to wake up and start patrolling a little more. Sitting at the front gat checking birds, or making sure no one enters the water before four is a f'n joke. Two years past on opening they sat at the gate (we were secind in line by the way) and fifteen minutes prior it looked like daytona. Some jackass passed the whole line at 70 mph I wish I had my stop sticks I would have flatted every tire he had. Its just getting sad.
     
  2. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

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    You must have been right behind me. I don't agree on the permit only idea. I think the quota's have created problems and fixed none.
     
  3. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

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    Years ago Federal Wardens were not an uncommon sight from Pine Island clear Noth into the Oak Hill area. Haven't run across one in 15 years.

    Prudent enforcement is the answer IMO.
     
  4. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

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    Mottler,

    Wastewater and stormwater discharge was responsible for most of the South Bananna River Lagoon and the Indian River Lagoon damage noted south of Titusville. Haulover Canal and boat props are the culprits effecting Turnbull basin. The effects of prop damage is obvious, but there is also a high salinity Salt wedge intruding far into the Indian River through Haulover Canal. Mosquito Lagoon is land locked and when evaporation is high, it becomes very salty. The dense saline water in Mosquito Lagoon flows out of the canal and discharges under the less saline esturine water of Turnbull Basin. Thus, these flats are being attacked from two sides....By high salinty beyond the littoral zones and by boats in it......Sea grass is not as resiliant as you say. In many instances it will never return as the roots of many species will not venture back into areas where other roots have once died.

    Yes, the Red Fish opportunity is fabulous, but it does not mean the system is healthy. In fact, it is way out of balance. Concerns regarding low shellfish productivity is directly related to the abnormally high Red Fish populations in that area.

    Having grown up there, I can tell you the grass beds are at best only about 20% as abundant today as what they were around 1970. I can remember areas on the flats being impassable by foot cause the grass was so thick you would trip and fall on your face......Futhermore, the thought of fishing in less than 30 inches of water was not even considered......the shallows harbored shellfish and fish fry. Sport fishing was accomplished out in open water adjacent to the grass beds....not up in them.
     
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  5. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

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    there is also a high salinity Salt wedge intruding far into the Indian River through Haulover Canal. Mosquito Lagoon is land locked and when evaporation is high, it becomes very salty. The dense saline water in Mosquito Lagoon flows out of the canal and discharges under the less saline esturine water of Turnbull Basin. Thus, these flats are being attacked from two sides....By high salinty beyond the littoral zones and by boats in it......

    You lived here and you never heard of ponce inlet. Dumps right into the ocean my friend. Where do you think the tides and the shrimp come from the redfish love so much. Not to mention the mullet run and crabs. Haulover may dump more salt into the indian river but that water comes from the ocean via mosquito lagoon. The water flows both ways and is completely wind driven. If anything it lets brackish water into the lagoon.

    Sea grass is not as resiliant as you say. In many instances it will never return as the roots of many species will not venture back into areas where other roots have once died.

    Exactly. Why would you want other invasive grasses growing where the sea grass did.

    Yes, the Red Fish opportunity is fabulous, but it does not mean the system is healthy. In fact, it is way out of balance. Concerns regarding low shellfish productivity is directly related to the abnormally high Red Fish populations in that area.
    Having grown up there, I can tell you the grass beds are at best only about 20% as abundant today as what they were around 1970. I can remember areas on the flats being impassable by foot cause the grass was so thick you would trip and fall on your face......Futhermore, the thought of fishing in less than 30 inches of water was not even considered......the shallows harbored shellfish and fish fry. Sport fishing was accomplished out in open water adjacent to the grass beds....not up in them.[/QUOTE]

    Thats because flats boats weren't invented yet. Mearly an access issue. You couldn't so you didn't. The commercial fisherman have always netted the flats. In the original flats boats. The flat bottom net boats with motors mounted in the middle of the boat. No problems with them chewing up the grass because it regrew untill the pollution took it's toll. Titusville was the last to stop dumping raw sewage into the river. It's the run off of lawn fertilizer and pesticides that are doing the damage. Sewage has been deep injected for many years now.
     
  6. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

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    University of Central Florida
    Research in Mosquito Lagoon
    Dr. Linda Walters
    Department of Biology
    University of Central Florida
    Orlando, FL 32816
    Mosquito Lagoon is the northernmost body of water in the 250 km long Indian River Lagoon (IRL) system. Biological diversity in this beautiful, yet fragile, ecosystem is extremely high. This is in part because Mosquito Lagoon is located in a biogeographical transition zone where temperate and subtropical species reach the limits of their physiological tolerance ranges. Thus, both tropical mangrove trees and the temperate salt marsh grass Spartina alterniflora can be found growing side by side here. During the course of a year, water temperatures in Mosquito Lagoon range from near freezing to over 90 degrees F. Additionally, since the water is quite shallow (mean depth: 1.5 m), evaporation in warm months can cause the salinity to exceed 45 parts per thousand (ocean salinity is 36 parts per thousand).

    I have a degree in Marine Biology from Florida Institute of technology.

    For simplicity sake, the above exert was taken from the first search Item listed on the subject... Take the time to do a search; Salinity, Mosquito Lagoon, Florida ..brush up on the matter and maybe we can have an intelligent conversation about it.

    Some sewage is injected....much is reused....and my original post opened acknowledging sewage and stormwater as being a problem. Titusville discharged their waste South of Turnbull...as again my post indicated. Fertilizer and pesticides enter the lagoon in stormwater....again most significantly south of Turnbull Basin ...so whats your point? The impact of those point source pollutants has always been comparably minimal in the area I was referring to, as compard to the southern portions of the lagoon. The real issue sits on the stern of your boat.
     
  7. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

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    State of the Indian River Lagoon -- 2004

    The following overview of the current conditions in the lagoon is largely drawn from the recent update of the Indian River Lagoon Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Plan. The lagoon SWIM Plan update was developed and produced by SWIM staff from the St. Johns River and South Florida water management districts in conjunction with Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (NEP) staff. A copy of the complete plan update is available from the lagoon NEP or may be found online at http://www.sfwmd.gov/org/wrp/wrp_ce/projects/irl_swim.html.

    Sea grass is the proverbial measuring stick for determining the health of the lagoon. One of the fundamental objectives of the lagoon program is the recovery and maintenance of a healthy and productive seagrass community in the lagoon. Preliminary analysis of lagoon data indicates that inadequate light is the primary factor limiting seagrass growth in the lagoon. Other factors, such as salinity, sediment quality, hydrology and physical disturbance may also affect seagrass growth and health.

    The same analysis also found that turbidity, chlorophyll a and color are the principal factors affecting water clarity in the lagoon. Turbidity is influenced by the amount of total suspended solids in the water, while chlorophyll a is influenced by nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations. Given that the lagoon is 156 miles long, water clarity can vary throughout its reaches; however, the identified pollutants and factors that influence them are involved to some degree in reducing light penetration of the water column in all segments of the lagoon.


    Fishing is another recreational activity enjoyed throughout the lagoon.


    Seagrass Resource Assessment

    Scientists look to the sea grass to measure the health of the lagoon. When sea grass thrives, so does the lagoon; when water quality diminishes, so does sea grass.

    Evaluation of seagrass resources in the lagoon is based on three measurements:

    Changes in the acreage of seagrass coverage over time (gain or loss)
    Maximum depth of the edge of seagrass beds
    Percent of surface sunlight reaching seagrass restoration depth targets
    General seagrass coverage distribution and trends in the lagoon can be summarized as follows:

    Segments containing the largest acreage of seagrass coverage are found around north Merritt Island, within and adjacent to the federally protected NASA/Kennedy Space Center/Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge complex (north Indian River Lagoon and northern Banana River) and Canaveral National Seashore (southern Mosquito Lagoon). These segments have shown little change in seagrass coverage since the 1940s.
    The largest area of poor seagrass coverage extends from the Cocoa area to the Palm Bay area. This area has experienced the greatest loss of seagrass coverage since the early 1940s (70 percent).
    Within the Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and north/central Indian River Lagoon areas, the most recent data available (1996) show 57,179 acres of sea grass is 56 percent of the potential 101,997 acres of sea grass. The 1940s seagrass coverage was 63,238, or 62 percent of the potential seagrass acreage.
    Within the south Indian River Lagoon, the current (1999) seagrass cover is 7,808 acres, or 39 percent of the potential 19,799 acres. The 1940s acreage is similar (7,688 acres) and also 39 percent of the potential acreage.
    For the entire lagoon, the potential seagrass acreage is 113,073 acres. Present seagrass acreage is 69,692 (1999), or 62 percent of the potential acreage.
     
  8. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

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    As stated above, sea grasses are good indicators of water quality...Since they are reported to be most abundant in the North Indian River lagoon, one could postulate the water quality in this area must be better than in the rest of the lagoon.

    Hence, water quality (pollution) seemingly doesn't play a major role in this area, therefore salinty and physical disturbance have got to be part of the problem.

    You and I have no control over the salinity issue.....The Army Corps of Engineers are responsible for that mess, and the only fix is to seal off Haulover Canal. You on the otherhand can be a part of minimizing destruction by physical disturbances simply by walking your boat into shore.
     
  9. redfishrob

    redfishrob Refuge Member

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  10. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

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    Which is exactly what I said, except for the real damage being my motor. My motor does very little if any damage. Try looking at the hundreds of 200hp flats boats on the lagoon every week. Maybe you should have taken geography and you would have known it is an open waterway to the ocean. Get your nose out of the books and down here on the water if you want to have an intelligent conversation about it. Posting a bunch of figures before 1940 when there was no development and prior to the army corps of engineers dredging the entire place for intercoastal channels and residential canals has no bearing on what we are discussing which is prop scarring and pollution. If you want to know where most of the grass beds went it was in the fill dirt to build up Merritt Is. and Cocoa Beach when they dredged the hundreds of canals and then the resulting silt problems and causways construction that choke the flow. The development dredging and pollution is what did the damage not outboard motors. Brush up, I don't think so.
     

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