I was in Treasure Island a couple of days ago during a mid tide cleaning the hull of a nice cruising yacht. Visibility was poor and the water murky. Recently the water temperatures have been cooling down a bit but barnacles have not really noticed here. They are still thriving.
The zebra striped mussels are loving this cool temp as Treasure Island has seen an increase in these mussels for the past 3 years. Once the water temp is between 65 – 75 you will start to see a lot more.
Crusted red coralline algae is always a problem here when the running gear loses its paint, growing as much as a 1/8 of an inch thick per month. If the prop is not properly cleaned, it can even change the pitch of your props.
Barnacle calcium is also an issue if left on the props and running gear. If built up enough, your boat will not plane. That is how important it is to make sure the barnacles are kept under control. Squirts seem to find there way into the thru holes in this area, mainly in the finger island. So, if you keep your boat on Treasure Island or the neighboring area, and you are not drawing water, you might be getting squirted.
Keep in mind that the reason barnacles thrive on these islands is because the area is not very eco friendly. When people feed their lawns with all sorts of different fertilizers, which, in turn, wash off right into the canal, you will see high barnacle growth with mussels, oysters,fire coral, and all sorts of colorful algaes.
We highly recommend a 2 week cleaning regimen during the summer when the water temp is 70 – 95 degrees, then move to a monthly bottom cleaning when it dips below 70.
In the Treasure Island are, you will see twice as much barnacle growth than further north at the Dunedin Marina.