AUGUSTA, Wis. — With financial support from the Wisconsin BASS Federation Nation (WBFN), a high school senior is conducting research that could benefit bass anglers and fisheries managers across the state.
WFBN provided more than $450 for Tim Kubetz to buy radio transmitter tags and related equipment needed to track movement of smallmouth bass in Lake Altoona, an 840-acre reservoir. As his senior research project at the Wildlands Science Research Center Charter School, Kubetz started following five bass in November and will stay with them until after the spawn.
"When the research is finished, I hope to have gained significant insight into the bass' habitat preferences during different seasons and routes that they travel between such locations," the senior said. "Because the reservoir I am conducting the study on is so similar to what Wisconsin bass anglers frequently encounter, I hope my findings will be useful to anglers and management teams all across the state."
Kubetz said that he came up with the idea of tracking bass when he learned that other students had charted the migration habits and home range of northern pike. "As a die-hard bass fisherman, I immediately recognized the usefulness of conducting such a study on my favorite species, smallmouth bass."
Paul Tweed, Kubetz's supervising instructor, approved. "Wildlands students regularly take on natural resource projects that connect to our local and regional communities," he said. "Tim's project is a great example of how a project-based school can work with local people to uncover information about our environment and, hopefully, add to our ability to make decisions to maintain and improve our resources."
But Kubetz needed financial assistance.
"When I initially sent out sponsorship requests asking for more than $450, I had no idea what to expect," said the student, who also makes topwater baits. "But when Jeff Dyer promised his group would foot the whole cost, I was reminded why I am so proud of my BASS membership."
Dyer, president of the WBFN, said that he was impressed by Kubetz's enthusiasm for the study "and also the fact that Tim is so young but so articulate about his passion."
He added, "When I presented this to the WBFN board and state representatives at our October meeting, it was voted unanimously to donate to the project."
WBFN also invited Kubetz to attend a January meeting to provide an update on his research.
"It's like a dream come true," said Kubetz.