Alabama Bass Trail completes first conservation project

Lewis Smith Lake
Courtesy of Alabama Bass Trail
The first project took place in the Clear Creek area of Lewis Smith Lake located in Walker County and consisted of building and submerging two different types of artificial fish habitat.

Decatur, Ala. — The Alabama Bass Trail in cooperation with the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association, Alabama Power, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Freshwater Fisheries, and the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County has successfully completed the first of eleven conservation projects slated for the 2012-2013 fishing season. A film production crew from On The Jobs television show was on hand documenting each step of the way for a later broadcast on Alabama Public Television and WSFA in Montgomery, Ala. See photos or watch a video of the project.

The first project took place in the Clear Creek area of Lewis Smith Lake located in Walker County and consisted of building and submerging two different types of artificial fish habitat. Student anglers and volunteers built bamboo fads by filling 5 gallon buckets with bamboo and concrete and placing a float on each structure to encourage the structure to remain upright after submersion. Secondly, the students constructed Cypress Tree bundles, which consisted of tying 5-7 cypress trees together along with a float. Once the structures were constructed, each high school angler took their turn on the transportation boat to submerge the structures. Collectively, the group submerged 20 bamboo fads and 10 bundles of Cypress Trees in the Clear Creek area of Lewis Smith Lake.

Implementing the “Conservation Service Hours Program” was an important part of the Alabama Bass Trail’s mission to educate young anglers. “By providing a conservation project opportunity on each of the 11 Alabama Bass Trail lakes, we are giving these 1,100 student anglers a chance to engage in conservation and earn $500 grants for their respective clubs. Each club that completes 250 hours of conservation service will receive a $500 grant for their club to help with their expenses throughout the fishing season,” says Kay Donaldson, program director for the Alabama Bass Trail.

The day-long project was filmed and will later appear on the On The Jobs television show that airs on Alabama Public Television and WSFA in Montgomery. On The Jobs host Bobby John Drinkard assisted the high school anglers in the construction and deployment of the habitat structures. “I am so impressed with commitment of these young men and women. Their eagerness to learn and work toward better natural resources should inspire all Alabamians,” said Drinkard.

Alabama Power provides the GPS coordinates for artificial fish habitat structures for five of the Alabama Bass Trail’s lakes. For a list of GPS coordinates for Lake Jordan, Lay Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Neely Henry Lake, and Lewis Smith Lake, visit www.alabamapower.com/lakes/fishdata.asp

For more information on upcoming conservation projects or information on forming a high school bass fishing club, contact Kay Donaldson, program director for the Alabama Bass Trail, at 855-934-7425.

About Alabama Bass Trail

The Alabama Bass Trail is a program of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. Its mission is to promote Alabama as a year-round fishing destination, to preserve natural resources for generations to come, and to educate high school and college aged students to be good stewards of natural resources. The 11 bass fishing lakes consist of Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Lay Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lake Jordan, Alabama River, Lake Eufaula, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. For more information, visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.

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