Mobile Bay Reef Renamed in Honor of Alex Maisel
The Alabama Marines Resources Division has renamed the reef area around the ExxonMobil 62A gas platform in Mobile Bay in honor of Alex Maisel, an avid angler who died in 2012 at age 17 in an automobile accident.
The Alex Maisel Memorial Reef consists of 6- to 8-inch limestone gabion stones placed around the pilings and eastern portion of the platform. The reef is located at N30? 17.802”; W88? 02.731” in the southern portion of Mobile Bay. A placard will be on one of the piles to acknowledge the reef as the “ExxonMobil: Alex Maisel Memorial Reef.”
Bryan Maisel, Alex’s father, said fishing was a passion for his son, who was on the water almost daily.
“I raised my son on Dauphin Island since he was 5 years old,” said Bryan Maisel. “Alex followed my legacy and passion for fishing. Particularly, he loved speckled trout fishing. His skills exceeded mine at an early age in the art form of speckled trout fishing, and it is an art form. He was passionate about it. As a young teenager, some of his best friends were professional fishing guides. Fishing was a passion he wanted to share. He introduced so many of his friends and classmates to fishing. I bought his first boat at 10 years old, and I fished with him until he was old enough to fish on his own. He competed in the (Roy Martin Young Anglers) fishing rodeo and won several times. He just loved it.”
Maisel said he considered building an offshore reef to honor his son but decided an inshore reef was more appropriate.
“I didn’t know any better way to honor my son and his life’s passion than to get an inshore reef named after him” Bryan said. “Although plans are underway to build an offshore deepwater reef, which will contain Alex’s remains, so many of his friends and family are unable to visit an offshore structure. The inshore reef can easily visited by people who don’t necessarily have a passion for fishing but want to visit this memorial location. This would have not been possible without the cooperation of Marine Resources, Coastal Conservation Association and ExxonMobil. The timing couldn’t be better, as today (Thursday) is my son’s birthday. Through God’s blessings this was allowed to come to fruition.”
Marine Resources Director Chris Blankenship also thanked the partnership that allowed the platform to be a memorial reef in Alex Maisel’s honor.
“The Marines Resources Division appreciates the partnership we have with ExxonMobil, and I appreciate Russ Golson in working with us to rename the reef at the 62A gas platform in Mobile Bay,” Blankenship said. “That platform was a place Alex loved to fish regularly.”
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com.