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Funky Pineland water

I went to the Pineland area early last Saturday morning and the water was just nasty. Murky as heck with visibility of a few inches at best and dead grass floating everywhere with very little bait and zero predators around.  Water clarity was fine on the north end of the sound with plenty of bait around though.  So what causes these localized areas of super cloudy (brown) water? This is the third time I've encountered this in the same area over the last couple of years...a friend was with me the last time it happened (sometime 2019) and his comment was that the shrimp boats must have been working the area the night before.  I don't know that he was right or not but it kind of makes sense.  Is that what I encountered again this past Saturday? The effects of shrimp (bait shop type) boats working the area the night before? If so is there any rhyme or reason as to when they work this area?  If the funky water wasn't from shrimp boats working the area what was the cause? 

Replies

  • FishingpervertFishingpervert Deltona, FloridaPosts: 1,010 Officer
    edited June 2020 #2
  • RockyTopRockyTop Posts: 147 Deckhand
    Except for the fact that it was so localized I too would have thought it was rain/runoff related, or just the natural algae blooms that higher temperatures bring this time of year  but this was a brown color..not the green-ish I'd expect with a normal algae bloom...then too you could go a couple of miles away and the water was nice and clear including the mouths of some of the larger creeks nearby. The area in question is almost all shallow grass flats too fwiw.  The wind hasn't been bad in this area the last couple of weeks and I wouldn't expect it to be very different from one spot to another within such a relatively small area...I guess it was really the localized nature of what I saw that really has me wondering what caused it.
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 198 Deckhand
    It's getting to be the time of year that Pine Island Sound gets localized low-oxygen areas.  Usually shallow bays or other places where there isn't much tidal flow.  You can be fishing along just fine and hit one of those areas and all the bait in your well will roll over dead in a short time.  Oxygen level can be at it's lowest early in the morning since the green plants consume oxygen out of the water during the dark hours, then sun gets up and photosynthesis creates oxygen during the day.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 18,114 AG
    edited June 2020 #5
    Most of the harbor is brown from tanin that flows out of the rivers (it looks like tea), however areas of darker brown with a slight reddish tint are phytoplankton blooms.  Although there are several types of that cause it, it's generally the same one that makes the water glow at night, P. bahamense.

    Unless there's a few cloudy days in a row, these blooms don't really cause widespread issues outside of small areas as noted my AlwaysLearningMore.  But with a few cloudy days in a row (fairly rare around here) they die off en masse, consuming the oxygen and causing larger fish kills.

    Here's an article on Tampa Bay that explains it, but the same thing happens every year in Charlotte Harbor as well: https://myfwc.com/research/redtide/monitoring/current/tampa-bay-monitoring/

    The latest data on Charlotte Harbor can be found here (it's a bit dated -- I suspect things have slowed down due to Covid-19):  http://chnep.wateratlas.usf.edu/bay/default.asp?wbodyid=330000&wbodyatlas=bay

    Hope this helps....Mike
  • BigGuyinaLittleBoatBigGuyinaLittleBoat Posts: 110 Deckhand
    Algae getting pulled from the bottom by wave or boat action where it dies, turns brown, and disintegrates. We were out in the kayaks Saturday and that West wind had it all pushed up on the East Wall of Charlotte Harbor. Looked like giant clumps of *hit falling apart. Slept in the mangroves and woke up first thing in the morning and the water was all clear. 

    My guess if you were there early before boaters churned it up was wave/wind churned it overnight. Could also be fish, a school of mullet or reds will churn the bottom pretty well


  • RockyTopRockyTop Posts: 147 Deckhand
    Interesting information - thanks for the feedback guys. Very interesting links @Tarponator - thanks!   I'm familiar with the normal tanin stain we get in the summer and that's not what this was....thinking about your explanations though I can see where this area might very well be more prone to being a low oxygen area and how the algae play into that situation. It makes some sense considering the topography etc of the area. I guess being so close to Captiva pass I just thought there would be more flow through the area.  For what it's worth the locations where I found 'clean' water were in fact deeper for the most part so that may be inferentially consistent with the theory that this was a low DO2 area with an algae issue in play and this was my first stop just after daylight on Saturday so there is that element as well I suppose.  There wasn't really any boat traffic to speak of in this particular area at that time so I don't think the traffic was really a factor at that time although by 11 it was so bad and it was stifling hot with not even a hint of a breeze so I called it and went home. Ridiculous boat traffic.

    Thanks again for the feedback guys - I learned something today!

    Tight lines,
    Tim
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 198 Deckhand
    Algae getting pulled from the bottom by wave or boat action where it dies, turns brown, and disintegrates. We were out in the kayaks Saturday and that West wind had it all pushed up on the East Wall of Charlotte Harbor. Looked like giant clumps of *hit falling apart. Slept in the mangroves and woke up first thing in the morning and the water was all clear. 

    My guess if you were there early before boaters churned it up was wave/wind churned it overnight. Could also be fish, a school of mullet or reds will churn the bottom pretty well


    Slept in the mangroves last weekend on Charlotte Harbor?  You are tougher than I.  Skeeters have been ferocious!
  • BigGuyinaLittleBoatBigGuyinaLittleBoat Posts: 110 Deckhand
    Algae getting pulled from the bottom by wave or boat action where it dies, turns brown, and disintegrates. We were out in the kayaks Saturday and that West wind had it all pushed up on the East Wall of Charlotte Harbor. Looked like giant clumps of *hit falling apart. Slept in the mangroves and woke up first thing in the morning and the water was all clear. 

    My guess if you were there early before boaters churned it up was wave/wind churned it overnight. Could also be fish, a school of mullet or reds will churn the bottom pretty well


    Slept in the mangroves last weekend on Charlotte Harbor?  You are tougher than I.  Skeeters have been ferocious!
    Two layers of clothes and a bug net if it gets bad. We boated and camped Upper Cap the weekend before and THAT was brutal. 
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 18,114 AG
     Slept in the mangroves and woke up first thing in the morning and the water was all clear. 


    You, sir, are a man among boys!
  • Gypsies CallGypsies Call Posts: 265 Deckhand
    ****... haven't done that since I was a kid.  I remember mosquito bites on top of mosquito bites... lol.  Dang hole in the tennis shoe made my big toe swell! :-)
    Gypsies Call
    SWO LCDR, USN-Retired
    Sea Chaser 200 Flats Series
    Old Town Predator Kayak
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