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Popular fishing reef gets new name
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Cement from temporary parking decks constructed in Jacksonville for the 2005 Super Bowl is dropped at HLHA Reef. - photo by DNR photo
BRUNSWICK — One of Georgia’s oldest artificial reefs known to most anglers and divers as G Reef has been renamed the “HLHA Reef” in honor of now-retired Coastal Resources Division biologist and artificial reef project coordinator, Henry Ansley.
This popular fishing destination was enhanced on July 27 and Aug. 9 with some unique material thanks to Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration
HLHA is one of the original artificial reefs developed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources during the early 1970s.
During the past three decades, the site, east of Little Cumberland Island, has been the destination for numerous materials including 11 vessels and several U.S. military M-60 tanks. Most recently, the reef became home to some Super Bowl XXXIX memorabilia.
During planning for the 2005 Super Bowl, Jacksonville managers were challenged to provide parking for the expected crowds. Part of the solution involved creating temporary parking lots on several barges decked with concrete and moored in the St. Johns River. During the past months, the concrete decking was removed and placed on a barge. Two barge loads of concrete were towed to HLHA Reef where approximately 6,000 tons of concrete rubble was deployed in a large pile at 30 58.845 N/80 57.195 W.
Man-made materials like concrete provide hard substrate to which a wide variety of encrusting organisms like corals and sponges can attach and grow forming reefs that attract bait and game fish such as king mackerel and grouper.
Each year, thousands of anglers and divers visit the 22 artificial reefs found offshore Georgia.
Summer is one of the busiest times for artificial reef visitation as sea conditions are generally calm, ocean waters are clear, and saltwater game fish abundance is at its peak.
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