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DNR adds to artificial reefs
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Special tot he Courier

BRUNSWICK — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources continued enhancement of artificial reefs along the Georgia coast with the recent deployment of materials at artificial reef HLHA and artificial reef L - two of 21 permitted offshore artificial reefs off our coast.
At HLHA, 500 “Stevens Cones” have been placed at the reef to enhance the habitat and provide additional opportunities for offshore anglers who visit this popular fishing spot. HLHA, formerly known as G reef, is about 23 nautical miles east of Little Cumberland Island.
The concrete in the Stevens Cone units mimic the limestone of natural reefs and live bottoms. Once in place, colonization by encrusting organisms like barnacles, soft corals and sponges will provide habitat and build the backbone of a food-web. This food-web will quickly attract smaller fish and crabs, which in turn will attract larger saltwater game fish such as grouper, flounder, black sea bass and king mackerel.
Prior to this enhancement the majority of the material at HLHA Reef was comprised of retired steel vessels including tugboats, barges and even a World War II Liberty ship.
L reef, 23 nautical miles east of Ossabaw Island, was the site of an intentional sinking of three surplus steel vessels. The three vessels included an 85-foot former U.S. Army tugboat (Jupiter) that was constructed during WW II, a 65-foot tugboat that worked the port of Savannah and a 38-foot steel hulled sailboat.
Once on site the lead vessel was anchored in place with the two smaller vessels attached by tow ropes.  All three of the vessels sank together, coming to rest on the seafloor no more than 150 feet apart. L reef, with a mean low water depth of more than 55 feet, provides ample water depth for vertical clearance above these vessels once they reached the seafloor.
According to the DNR’s Tony Blount, sinking all three of these vessels so close together was a first for the project leader working on the Artificial Reef Project.
“Because these vessels are almost in a straight line and close together, anglers will have a great ‘trolling zone’ when the reef food-web is well established,” Blount stated.
The funding for these reef deployments was provided by a combination of federal aid for sportfish restoration and state funds for reef development. To download the publication A Guide to Georgia’s Offshore Artificial Reefs visit
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