Heidi sent us another update:
Additionally, researchers need samples of June grass! Would anybody be willing to collect samples? Please see details here. This kind of information could potentially make the June Grass Report even more useful. Thanks in advance!
I’m giving the water at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park a 1 on the Grossness Index. Just a few random blobs, nice otherwise, cooler than it has been.
Here’s another shot, very clear. However, I kept walking down the beach because it was more crowded than I like (read: there were actually other people present) and I saw this dark blob.
“Ugh, I hope this isn’t June Grass” was my first thought. It was restricted to a random blob maybe 20’x20′ out in the surf so I waded in to see what it was exactly (you guys better appreciate what I do for you). It turned out to be some weird red seaweed I have never seen in the Gulf before. It wasn’t gross but I would prefer it went away. I did not find any of the sea slugs people have been reporting on Okaloosa Island.
Just a reminder: day use entry into the park is free this summer, as is parking and tram service to the beach. If you can live without your alcohol (it’s prohibited on state beaches) and you’re tired of the sea slugs and June grass on the other beaches come over here. I suggest arriving early. The tram runs every 30 minutes from 8am to 5pm, then it runs once an hour until it gets dark (last time I checked).
I had a swim at THPSP. The water was nice, although a bit stirred up from the storm last night. There were a few random pieces of June grass that I’d rate a 1 or less. Sorry: no pics I was too busy swimming! There is presently a cool current running right along the beach but I waded out up to my neck and the water warmed up. I hope it stays nice for the weekend! The yellow flies and mosquitoes are biting but they’re not on the beach.
I went to the beach at THPSP last night. Flags were yellow and purple, but I didn’t see any jellies and I haven’t heard anything about more sharks than usual in the area. I have no idea what the purple flag was for. I tried boogie boarding but it was a bit too rough for me. If the waves are still coming in I recommend that adults use good judgment in the water but keep the kiddos at less than knee deep. I saw absolutely no June grass so let’s hope it stays that way for the weekend! There’s a bit of sargassum but nothing gross or annoying. Have a fun beach weekend!
I had a quick look around the beach at sunset and soaked my feet for a bit. There are no dead fish here. The Gulf is very warm. The wind has shifted to the south and kicked up the waves a bit but there actually seems to be less June grass than yesterday midday. I’m rating it a 2-3 on the Grossness Index, down from up to a 4 yesterday. There are TONS of mole crabs in the surf, so don’t bother buying bait if you come to fish. I heard a man say he caught a couple of whiting Saturday.
Thank you Clay for sending in this report and pic:
“I have been here at El Matador at the end of Okaloosa Island since Saturday. A little algae and some grass out in the water but nothing to complain about. In my opinion you would have to go too far to be safe to get to the bulk of it. My grossness scale would be “0”. As far as the fish kill, there are dead fish. At first i thought it was some left over bait a fisherman discarded but soon realized i was wrong. Its not like they are all over the place but they are here. Nothing too bad though.”
I keep getting reports that there is June grass and a fish kill on Okaloosa Island. If anybody has pics (just for confirmation, dead fish are gross) please send them in. I haven’t been to the Sowal beaches today. Yesterday there was a bit of June grass but not a day ruiner. There are green flags again today, so hopefully somebody will confirm that it’s still fairly nice here. I also keep getting reports that Pensacola is nice and grass-free. Please check the POST BEACH CONDITIONS HERE! link for the most current reports from the beach.
I was very excited to go to the beach when I got the text stating there were green flag conditions in South Walton. I rarely go to the beach in the middle of the day because I sunburn obscenely fast. When I got to the beach at THPSP I was disappointed for a number of reasons.
1. The state park was flying a yellow flag. I expected this because I’ve heard a rumor that state beaches on the Panhandle never fly a green flag for liability reasons.
2. However, the Gulf was about in the same condition as it was Friday except the wind is southeastern. In my opinion the flag is should still be yellow. To me a green flag is when a north wind flattens the Gulf down like a lake. This is rare.
3. The June grass is back in. I’m calling it areas of 3-4 on the Grossness Index.
Since I can wait out the June Grass it wasn’t worth it for me to stay at the beach, so I took some pics and left. I didn’t bother going in the water. You can definitely evade the June Grass if you wade out a bit. It’s coming ashore on thin bands. I tried to get pics that showed the alternating bands of grass and clear water, but I’m not sure you can really tell.
0 on the Grossness Index! It’s a beautiful day at the beach. The flags are yellow and wind is from the southwest. There are small waves coming in but it’s nice for swimming. I’ve been swimming with the baby pompano for a long time! I had more than 50 around me at one point! I don’t remember ever seeing this many before, so hopefully in a few years there will be a nice population built up. The water is warm and pretty clear even with the wind and waves. Remember that day use entry, parking and tram are free this summer.