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|Ship sunk in Miami to create new reef, donated by Eleuthera's Island Block|
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|Posted by:||Oct 18th 2005, 10:10:44 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||NOTEBOOK
Ship sunk in bay to form new reef
BY SUSAN COCKING
Miami-Dade County got its first new artificial reef in two years on Friday when county workers and volunteers sank a 150-foot-long steel barge in Biscayne Bay.
Cliff Kunde, president of the Atlantic Gamefish Foundation, said the craft went down in a 40-foot-deep, sandy borrow pit north of the Julia Tuttle Causeway. The barge, 50 feet wide and 12 feet high, was donated by Island Block, a concrete company in Eleuthera, Bahamas. It has been named the MET Wreck for South Florida's oldest and largest free fishing contest, the Metropolitan South Florida Fishing Tournament.
''There are beautiful flats all around it and a lot of turtle grass,'' Kunde said. ``By putting some structure there, we are going to have some fish. On a crummy, crummy day, you'll have some snappers.''
Kunde estimated the cost of the sinking at $5,000.
For those with boats who want to check it out, the GPS coordinates are: 25 degrees, 48.840 north; 80 degrees, 09.830 west.
The crew of Just Lucky lived up to its name in the Hydro Glow/Sail Fishing Club Adopt-a-Swordfish Tournament held Oct. 8. Just Lucky took first prize for a 222 ½ -pound sword. C-Weed was second with a 156 ½-pounder Chips A Hoy was third with a 129 ½-pounder. Proceeds from the tournament are being used to purchase four satellite pop-up tags that enable scientists to track swordfish migrations.
South Florida dive operators and tourism boosters should be pleased with this month's edition of Scuba Diving magazine in which the region is named one of the top ten in the U.S. and Canada for diving.
''North America's dive mecca,'' the authors write of the area from Palm Beach to Key West. ``One of the finest stretches of warm-water diving anywhere.''
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has set dates for this fall's duck hunting season. The first phase is Nov. 19-27 and the second and final phase is from Dec. 10-Jan. 29. Two new rule changes this season: pintail ducks may be harvested for the entire season and the daily bag limit from scaup is reduced from three to two. For more information, log onto MyFWC.com/hunting.
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