New artificial reef at Key Biscayne brings fishing opportunities

Underwater photo courtesy of Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management

Miami-Dade County, in coordination with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), recently deployed approximately 150 tons of donated cleaned concrete and 150 tons of limerock boulders to create a new artificial reef off Key Biscayne in south Florida. The new artificial reef is a prime example of FWC’s artificial reef program coordinating with the local recreational anglers to identify a need and build habitat in partnership with the county.

“The fishing community and Bruce Marx are really the heroes of this story, raising funds and ensuring their voices were heard to get a new reef near where Bug Light was removed,” said FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management Director Jessica McCawley.

“This deployment represents the culmination of a lot of work, time and effort by various governmental agencies including the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management and the FWC, as well as the fishing community/stakeholders,” Marx said. “While Bug Light will never be replaced, we are hopeful that the Bug Light Shoal Artificial Reef will provide a habitat for bait fish for many years to come.”

The reef, called Bug Light Shoal after a decommissioned marker that was removed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2014, will help provide access and opportunities for anglers to gather bait before heading offshore.

The reef is at 25° 40.765’ N / 80° 06.765’ W, 2.4 nautical miles east-northeast of the Cape Florida Lighthouse (Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park) at a depth of 22 feet.

Learn more about Miami-Dade County’s artificial reefs at MiamiDade.gov/environment/reefs-artificial.asp.

Learn more about Florida’s artificial reef program at MyFWC.com/ArtificialReefs.

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