PLAN YOUR DIVE ON ALLIGATOR REEF
Alligator Ledge, within Alligator SPA off Islamorada, FL, is ~320 yards long and runs from Mooring Ball 0 thru Mooring Ball 4. The maximum depth is ~28 ft and the top of the ledge is at ~15 ft. A sandy area separates the ledge from rubble, octocoral, sea grass habitats. You will find ~80 species of fish congregating on, in and near the ledge. Look for the other species in the sand, rubble, and hiding in the octocoral/sea grass beds. Don't forget to look up & around to see pelagic species swimming thru - Great Hammerhead & Bonnethead Sharks, Spotted Eagle Rays, Permits and Ceros have all been seen swimming by Alligator Ledge.
Look for angelfish, barracuda, damselfish, gobies, groupers, grunts, parrotfish, snappers, squirrelfish, doctorfish, wrasses & others fish species...
Spend ~50% of your dive along the ledge between ball 0 - 3
Fish ID Target: +80 fish species along, in & around the Ledge
THE SANDY / RUBBLE AREAS
IN THE SAND: Look for jawfish, dartfish, rays, tilefish, flounders, goatfish, hogfish, wrasses, blennies & gobies...
IN THE RUBBLE: Look for razorfish, wrasses, seabass, pufferfish, bluelip & greenblotch parrotfish, rainbow wrasse...
Spend ~30% of your dive looking in the sand & rubble areas
Fish ID Target: 14-18 species of fish in the Sand/Rubble Areas
OCTOCORALS & SEA GRASS BEDS
Look for trumpetfish, slender filefish, parrotfish, eels...
Spend ~20% of your dive looking in these habitats
Fish ID Target: 6-8 fish species in the Octocorals/Sea Grass
Check your survey & finish your dive in the habitat where you are missing fish!
ALWAYS FOLLOW SAFE DIVING PRACTICES