Chris and I headed back into the Everglades on Tuesday to download data from our hydro-acoustic receiver array and look for yet another satellite tag that had come off a tarpon. This was going to be the first time that we have tried to locate and retrieve the receivers that we deployed this spring. Since we are not able to use surface buoys to mark the locations we needed to get in the water and snorkel around to find each receiver. We had a low tide for most of the morning which was helpful but the visibility was about a foot making the snorkeling pretty sporty. Once on the bottom in 6-8 ft of water, I was able to use a boat pole to feel around for the receivers and we were able to find and download data from 5 of our 6 Little Shark River receivers and 4 receivers in the Mud Bay region. Unfortunately we only had a little data from our tarpon but we did find that several bull sharks that had been tagged by FIU had been down in Mud Bay. In fact, several bull sharks had been in the area that morning while I was snorkeling. Good thing the visibility was bad.
After downloading the data and redeploying each receiver we started our search for the lost tag. In a little over an hour we found the tag about 10 feet into the mangroves in a small cove inside Mud Bay. Overall the bugs were surprisingly better than I expected (no mosquitoes) except for an incredible amount of no-see-ums at the launch in the morning and a steady barrage of horseflies whenever we got close to shore.