The Ocean City Reef Foundation deployed the D.P. Bishop Barge today (4/6/20). The donated barge sank immediately adjacent to existing reef at the Bass Grounds Reef Site 9 miles east of Ocean City, MD.
Many thanks to Doug Whittington for the 52” barge, Sunset Marina for launching it, Hugh Cropper for slips to tie it up in while we worked on it, Absolute Demolition for helping to load it, and Tow Boat US Ocean City for her final tow!
Jonah & Vinnie set a mooring off my stern (from the Morning Star.) The anchors bit in perfectly. Then we did a bit of toggin as we awaited the tow to arrive. Jonah had a nice 22 inch female we tagged (Dern sure would have loved some fresh fish, but we’d like abundant tog even more!) Vinnie tagged a short female too, while I goose egged 0 for 5 bites!)
After a while TowBoat Rob laid the mooring buoy right in Tanner’s hand & took his towing bridle free.
Tanner then cleared a dozen plywood hatch covers & discharged 120 rounds of 7.62 x 39 down through her hull – all equally split between six compartments. (Yes, any rifle round would easily penetrate that steel.)
She sank exactly where I wanted a few minutes later.
The D.P. Bishop reef will teem with life this summer. Triggerfish, sea bass, & a few fluke these first few months; as growth matures and the reef’s food web production ramps up, tautog too will use it.
Oh will they—in four years this reef will be a fine five-star bit of tog lodging..
As more time passes we’ll begin seeing corals. Eventually, perhaps 20 years out, corals will own any substrate exposed to sunlight..
If today’s youngest readers witness 20+ lb tog and a return of inshore jumbo sea bass, it will have happened on substrates such as this.
Support the Ocean City Reef Foundation at ocreefs.org .. Consider especially signing up for Amazon Smile with Ocean City Reef Foundation as your charity. Doesn’t add to your bill. Dang sure turns into reef though!
Every non-profit is dead slow in donations during this difficult & stressful period.
We’d appreciate any help at all!
Next up – 500 tons of precast concrete in late May/early June!
Capt Monty Hawkins