New Year, New Reef

By Scott Lenox

New Year, New Reef

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!

There certainly hasn’t been much happening on the fishing scene in Ocean City lately.  The rockfish have stayed outside of the three mile limit, tautog season has been closed for December and the wind has been blowing.  Thankfully there have been some good days of sea bass fishing for the local party boat fleet, and now that tautog season is open again I’m sure we’ll start to see some nice tog catches coming in when the weather cooperates.  The water temperature out front is still conducive for rockfish and there are still some fish to the north so we can still hope that we have a run of fish go by inside of three miles as they migrate south.

I got an email from my good friend Captain Monty Hawkins yesterday telling about some awesome work that the Ocean City Reef Foundation is doing for bottom fishing interests off of Ocean City.

It was a great day!
Four Ocean City Reef Foundation volunteers & Morning Star crew (forced labor) snuck down the beach in an increasing south wind for a reef building trip on the last day of 2016. We loaded 12,530 lbs of concrete in 107 chimney blocks–provided by Potomac Valley Brick & were fashioned into tog/lobster condos before deploying, plus 123 corner split face blocks donated by Sunset Marina. The blocks were taken to Wolf & Daughters Reef, (Ken Wolf being a strong supporter of our reef building) some 2.5 miles South OC Inlet. This makes a total of 5 Morning Star runs in December & certainly close to 30 tons of material.

Also under construction are Sue Foster’s Reef, Al Berger’s Reef, Doug Ake’s Reef, Benelli Reef, & Capt. Bob Gowar’s Reef.
The Reef Foundation looks forward to major deployments of 100+ tons each in January from the Iron Lady, a 108×30 foot ex-Army Corps vessel now wharfed in the Commercial Harbor. No deal made just yet – seems likely.
As ever, donations will dictate how much reef can be built!
The OC Reef Foundation is a 510c3 non-profit with no payroll & no rented office space — We Build Reef.
Naysayers claim hand-loaded & hand deployed reef won’t last. This is a two year old video of oyster castle blocks at Jimmy Jackson’s Reef about 8 miles east of OC Inlet.
Been doing it just about 5 years now. I’m confident hand built reefs will survive to become coraled over, and will have produced innumerable fish even before. Wish I’d started in 1980…


Load of block


Block units going by the rail


4 block unit – essentially a 32″ square pipe


Tire units at the Bass Grounds. Deployed in the mid/late 1970s, poor engineering made a mess with tires washing ashore after major storms even today. This pic shows what might have been had tire units stayed put.

If you’d like to help build reef off of Ocean City you can find out more and donate here….Ocean City Reef Foundation

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