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Anyone willing to share some of their own reef building stories? What type of materials? How to anchor the materials? Do you place your reefs near (1/4 mile, etc..) platforms so the shrimpers don't drag them up? I am very interested in the topic and trust that others will be as well. Thanks.
 

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I would think that you making your own reef would be considered as dumping. And I am pretty sure that is illegal.
 

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I think Michael is right. But with the increasing fishing pressure on the offshore fishing grounds, the need is defintely there. Has anybody ever investigated the possibility of volunter labor from people like us teamed with funds from CCA and TPWD for materials and transportation for building reefs? I am sure there is a ton of paper work that would be required to do it right but thats where it seems like resources from CCA would come in handy. I am sure TPWD Artifical reef program is doing all it can with the funds they have available, but there have been numerous rigs off of Matagorda taken up recently and nothing much left behind, 578, A-20. It seems like the only way we will ever get any reef building done the right way is with the joint effort (labor) of people like us in cooperation with the established organizations that have the legal resources to get it done right.
 

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Sorry, but considering how much (should be "how little") CCA has done to help the red snapper situation I really doubt they would even blink on something like artificial reefs. CCA is only concerned with Kidfish and STAR.

We have three large liberty ships 25 miles out of POC and I've never caught a fish there. I Don't even aim to fish it anymore. Even had Texas acquired the scuttled ship that Florida got, it would've have been exploited. I would much rather have a lot of smaller reefs and wrecks than one big one relatively speaking of course.

Get Wild

Eric
 

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I think he was talking about a personal reef. Not an exploitable public reef. Like a few engine blocks with about 40'+ of float rope up and some bouys up high with spiderweb inbetween with some nylon rope. Something like that would work nicely and does. I know a couple ppl that set them off the lesser antiles islands just offshore and troll them during tournaments and have great success. They have generally lasted them a couple of years at a time before they dissappear.
 

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I know the late capt. Howard Horton of galveston hauled out a sailboat and sunk it about 8 miles out so he would have a secret inshore winter snapper spot...and like they say -"sometimes it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission" ...don't ask...don't tell. Besides it's not a secret spot if you go asking for permission from the beauracrats.
 

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I have fished personal reefs in the GOM, just of Alabama. Even though Alabama has a very short shore line, they have great snapper fishing.

Take a look at thier Reef Program:
http://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/saltwater/where/artificial-reefs/protocol.cfm

I have fished out of Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Each trip, I have fished personal reefs and I must say they prodcued outstanding results. The guidelines and restrictions have change since the program started. For example, one of trips that I went on a few years back was small reef made out of school buses. These buses were placed under this program, but were required to have the engine, tires and glass removed. Since, the program has made some changes and buses are no longer an option for these reefs. I recall the cost of these buses, $50 per old bus, plus $100 for a vessel to place each bus in this region. And then... wait for three years.

Not only was I impressed with the snapper and other good fish, I was mostly impressed with the short boat ride to get to these spots.

Maybe this can be a new program for the SCA to support.
 

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Gary;
Having been around the govt for more years than I would like to admit, I'd say
zihuatanejo is probally right---"easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask
for permission"! Having said that, I have been involved in at least 5 "honey hole"
reefs without any legal problems, but that was pre-9/11.
There are provisions in the Texas Law for man made reefs, but you would need to
1] Be a seasoned beaurcrat to navigate the paperwork, 2] Be rich enough to
pay someone to do it for you, 3] Or know someone you could hoodwink into doing
it for you.
Not having any of the 3 qualities stated above I choose this option. Plan carefully;
where I might be able to add to a decent fishing area to add additional bottom structure.
Most of the time it needs to be done discretely over time so 1] Not to arouse the
law or those who might like to use my 'honey hole', 2] That the work load does not
overcome you, 3] Adding addtional materials is an ideal excuse(if you need one) to
go fishing.
The materials used should be thought out completely. On the Texas Coast you might
think about streaching some kind of matting on the bottom [ie cyclone fence ect] to
slow the inevitable sinking into the sand/mud bottom. If you are not stretching this
out during a scuba dive use EXTREAM Care so not to get intangled and adding a
human body to your reef. After this is in place you can add clean masonary rubble to
your reef as desired. You can dump 5 gal plastic buckets full onto the matt or lower
the entire bucket on a doubled rope down to the matt and retreive the rope by
releasing one end.
The fish should start showing up within days of the placement of your material on the
matt, if you have done your homework. There needs to be current in the area I'd
say about 2 to 4 mph. If you mark the reef be sure that you make provisions for sea-
weed that it won't gather on the rope or bouy.
I shared this with you as much to discourage you as to inform you. As you probally
know, if you get caught by a Guy that thinks your a villian, you could pay very dearly.
Most likey they will just ask you for the gps # so they can use them.
Best of luck.
Jackie
 

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Artificial Reefs

I did some research on artificial reefs in Texas a year or two ago. Here's the quick and disappointing results:

Bottomline, TPWD will not issue a permit to a private organization or person to develop or deploy an artificial reef. Insurance and liability is a huge part of it. They do have donated materials on hand I believe. Deployment is a major funding challenge. If it isn't made of concrete, rock, or an old oil rig, it isn't going to be accepted as potential artificial reef material. Sediment of the Gulf in most parts of Texas (read Mansfield north) is so soft that it will swallow any of the preferred materials mentioned above.

Reef Balls are a waste of time and money. Sink, sank, and sunk into the bottom before the boat that deployed them got back to shore. S.E.A. was analyzing the feasibility of deploying these in the PA/Corpus area, but sediment of the area is wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too soft.

Airplane bodies? Useless. The anchoring systems usually saw them in half and the pieces end up on the beach. Those one's they deploy in Florida? Media stunts to attract divers to the area. The one they blew up off of Miami a few years back? sawed itself in half, storm blew it up on a reef and wrecked a bunch of coral. Not exactly what I think they had in mind.

Rail Road box cars? collapse on themselves in a few years and then are buried by the sand.

PVC?* Inherent electrical charge keeps most micro-organisms from being able to colonize the surfaces. You've also have to find a way to anchor the dang things. You also have to contend with a structure wrenching itself to pieces due to current and wave action.

Ships or boats of notable size? Have to be big enough to not be moved by tropical storms or hurricanes. Then the EPA is going to want you to strip it of any petrochemicals, paint, insulation, wiring, etc, etc.... Some group in Florida did a 150-200' bulk carrier and it set them back about $1MM to prep it if memory serves. Even big ships like this get ripped apart by storms. Again, Florida had a vessel get ripped in half by a T.Storm and they couldn't find half of it. The other half ended up in a shipping lane and had to be removed at the taxpayer's expense.

Despite my negative forecast for getting an artificial reef/Fish attracting device (FAD) deployed in Texas, I do have some interesting information on how to build one, deploy it, and anchor it, FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. I'll post it up later if I can find the pics and such.
 

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Blacktip posted that the reefballs are a waste of time. But from that I read on the website they placed some the end of last year and are going to do the same in November.

I guess cause they are making money to for everyball they place.

Does anyone have an idea of what it would care for us as a group to get a plan together to create a reef?
 

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Dumping Restrictions - From http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-ci/affairs/MMOG/English/chapter3.htm

The rules seem easy enough to follow.

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B.2. Dumping restrictions In accordance with the requirements of MARPOL 73/78, it is illegal in the United States to discharge plastics or garbage containing plastics into any waters. Additional restrictions on dumping of vessel operational, non-plastic waste are outlined below. Regional, state or local laws may place further restrictions on the disposal of garbage. All discharge of garbage is prohibited in the Great Lakes or their connecting or tributary waters. Refer to B.3.a of this section for reference information.
B.2.a. Lakes, rivers, bays, and sounds, and up to 3 miles offshore It is illegal to dump all garbage in lakes, rivers, bays, and sounds, and up to 3 miles offshore.
B.2.b. 3 to 12 nautical miles offshore From 3 to 12 nautical miles offshore, it is illegal to dump:
plastic;
dunnage, lining and packing materials that float; and
all other vessel operational garbage if not ground to less than 1 inch.

B.2.c. 12 to 25 nautical miles offshore From 12 to 25 nautical miles offshore, it is illegal to dump:
plastic and
dunnage, lining and packing materials that float.

B.2.d. Outside 25 nautical miles Outside 25 nautical miles offshore, it is illegal to dump plastic.
B.2.e. Dumping restrictions Vessels 26 feet or longer must display the dumping restrictions in a prominent place for passengers and crew to read.
 

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The Simplest Way...

....is to buy an old junk boat. Properly license, register, and insure it. Make a buddy boat trip and if happens to sink - instant reef. Mark the spot with a GPS. Don't tell anybody! Sell the trailer.

OH, almost forgot. Be sure to put the anchor out, or it tends to drift away.
 

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BG - those are the rules for dumping "vessel operational, non-plastic waste." Hard to argue that concrete drums, road debris, or other semi-permanent stuff falls within that description.
 

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My boat needs concrete blocks to run the first 12 miles, doesn't yours?
 
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bg said:
My boat needs concrete blocks to run the first 12 miles, doesn't yours?
that is about the range my boat starts taking on water and i need to off load some weight to keep from sinking. seems to happen in the same spot each trip. you can attach a christmas tree to each block and call it arbor day each time you go offshore and plant your tree....rick
 

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I guess I'll be following Rick next time I go out, at least 12 miles, he, he. Rick, which contractor did you use down there in Hide-a-way? You are about to have a new neighbor.
 
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