Reef Dives: South County Artificial Reef

South County Artificial Reef Tampa

This artificial reef site was developed in 2001-2003 and consists of tons of concrete rubble piles and a 100-year-old tug named Orange.

The site is well-marked with buoys and home to large amounts of fish.

South County Artificial Reef Tampa Wiki

The South County Artificial Reef Site lies 11 miles out from the Pass-A-Grille entrance marker and 10 miles from the St. John’s Pass entrance marker.

South County Artificial Reef Tampa

South County Artificial Reef Tampa

South County is a quarter-mile square artificial reef area in which two reefs have been developed. The center of the square is marked by a yellow buoy.

The first reef developed, known as “Site One”, consists of 700 tons of concrete debris, light poles, and bridge pilings that were placed in 45 feet of water in October 2001.

Site One has a round, white mooring buoy. The main concrete rubble pile is about 90 feet long, 25 feet wide and ranges from 15-17 feet high.

About 25 feet to the south are five smaller piles of rubble and 75 feet to the north are five more satellite piles. These smaller piles are about 10 feet in profile.

The second site developed in South County is the Tug Orange. This one-hundred-year old tug was sunk in 2003. The Orange is marked with a buoy attached to its bow.

Near the bottom of the rubble live grouper and black sea bass. Enormous schools of baitfish attract kingfish, jacks, Spanish mackerel and bonita to the tops of the piles. (courtesy Divespots)

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