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Water-Related News

SBEP deploys 36 habitat modules at three artificial reefs in Sarasota Bay

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SARASOTA – The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) deployed 36 habitat modules last week on three existing artificial reefs in Sarasota Bay. The reefs include Walker Reef, Hart’s Family Reef and Sarasota Sport Fishing Anglers Club Reef. All three are managed by Sarasota County Natural Resources. Reef Innovations of Sarasota constructed the reef modules and provided technical expertise in their deployment. Some of the reef modules were built by students with Riverview High School and Boy Scout Troop 14.

The artificial reefs are popular fishing destinations supported by hardened materials such as rocks and reef balls. The modules deployed this week are designed to attract young reef fish, particularly gag grouper, during their first two years of life. The reefs will increase fish survival rates until they are large enough to move offshore and become part of the adult fishery.

SBEP plans a similar deployment next year at three artificial reef sites in Manatee County waters within Sarasota Bay. This project is jointly conducted with Sarasota County and would not be possible without the generous financial support of the Sarasota Sportsmen’s Association.