MARIETTA, Ga. — The Marietta BassMasters teamed up with Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers earlier this year to place much needed cover in Lake Allatoona, a 12,000-acre fishery on the Etowah River near Atlanta.
“This project will add considerable fish habitat to an area of Lake Allatoona that is largely habitat deficient,” said Dale McPherson, the club’s conservation chair.
“Once the lake level rises and the trees flood, the strategic location of the Christmas trees will provide an excellent fishing opportunity for anglers, including bank anglers, who visit Proctor Landing.”
McPherson said that the work was organized in conjunction with DNR biologist Jim Hakala as a part of the GoFish Georgia Program. He also pointed out that improving habitat an Allatoona will be an ongoing effort.
After the Corps picked up 275 trees at dropoff points and brought them to the landing, club members spent 2 1/2 hours drilling holes in the trunks and then securing the cover to concrete anchor points provided by DNR.
Because the flood-control lake was at winter pool for this January project, the anchor areas were dry, but they will be 8 to 10 feet below the surface during spring.
Proctor Landing was chosen for habitat improvement because it receives less wave action that other portions of the fishery. Consequently, the tree bundles likely will provide cover for six to seven years.
“The 25 participating members were more than half of our club membership,” said McPherson. “This was great participation from our members!”
He added that those who did not work each contributed $20 to the club’s conservation account, with some of that money used to buy the wire used to anchor the trees.
“One way or another, every Marietta BassMasters member contributes to our conservation projects.”