The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) Continues to Enhance Coastal Georgia Fishing Opportunities through Continued Enhancements to Artificial Reef SAV.
November 2013 GADNR deployed Artificial Reef (AR) materials at Artificial Reef KC – located 9 nautical miles east of Wassaw Island in about 40-50′ of water. Materials consisted of a 254′ and estimated 580 ton barge loaded with 330 metal poultry transport cages (PTC). Coordinates for the new materials at KC Reef: 31° 50.381’N / 80° 46.527’W. AR KC is about 5 nautical miles south of AR SAV. With the current running north it is unavoidable that fish will migrate north from KC reef to SAV reef.
February 2014 GADNR CRD deployed a 110′, 209 ton barge to SAV reef – located 6 nautical miles south east of Tybee Island. The barge flooded with seawater and sank in 12 minutes coming to rest on the seafloor in 45′ of water. Coordinates for this barge site at SAV Reef: 31° 54.672’N / 80° 47.222’W.
June 2014 GADNR CRD deployed 80 pieces of 3-4′ long concrete culvert, 18 PTC’s, and steel structures to SAV reef at the following coordinates: 31°54.674’N / 80°47.178’W in 45′ of water.
“In their new location on the sea floor, the concrete and metal materials will soon be colonized by barnacles, soft corals and sponges providing the basis of a food web that will attract salt water game fish such as grouper, sheepshead, black sea bass and king mackerel. Endangered sea turtles and other sea life also use these man made reefs as foraging and resting habitat. CRD staff will monitor the site annually using side scan sonar and diver surveys to document the structural integrity of the materials, as well as the fish and invertebrate abundance and diversity.”
June 2015 GADNR CRD deployed a 110′ barge, 140 PTC’s, and four 40′ concrete beams to SAV reef at 31°55.198’N / 80°46.976’W in 41′. The GADNR CRD offshore artificial reef project is made possible by fishing license funds, Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration, private donations, and partnerships with local organizations that are interested in enhancing offshore fishing and diving opportunities.
September 2015 GADNR CRD deployed 207 PTC’s at 31°55.150’N / 80°47.029’W in 40′ of water depth.
“Donated materials help us to stretch our limited funds for offshore artificial reef enhancement. Instead of having to use those funds to purchase suitable reef material, we use them to cover the costs of transportation and deployment. Thanks to these donors, saltwater anglers in the Savannah area have a new fishing destination,” commented Spud Woodward, director of CRD.
The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources deployed a deck barge (90’x30’x10’) in June 2017. This is the sixth deployment to SAV Reef over the past three and a half years.
The barge was donated and deployed by Biblia, Inc. of Savannah at 31°55.008’N / 80°47.111’W in ~35 feet of water. The barge will soon be colonized by barnacles, soft corals and sponges providing the basis of a food web that will attract saltwater gamefish such as grouper, sheepshead, black sea bass and king mackerel, as well as numerous other species that use the reef as foraging and refuge habitat. CRD staff will monitor the site using side scan sonar and diver surveys to document the structural integrity of the materials, as well as the fish and invertebrate abundance and diversity.