EATONTON, Ga. — The award won by the Lake Oconee Bassmasters at the 2014 Conservation Summit is now home with its club, the Lake Oconee Bassmasters.
Tony Beck, conservation director for the Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation, accepted the award on the club's behalf in Birmingham, Ala., at the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro. Beck took the award to the club's meeting once the Classic was over, and the members proudly posed with their new plaque and their check.
The club won the Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Foundation/Aquatic Plant Management Society/B.A.S.S. Conservation Aquatic Vegetation Management Award. The Lake Oconee Bassmasters club was awarded $1,500 for establishing native aquatic vegetation in Lake Oconee, Lake Richard B. Russell and Lake Jackson over a five-year period.
To date, the club has grown and planted 4,300 native water willow plants.
“Club members worked in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Power and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Gilliland.
“Water willow is not invasive, provides shoreline cover, helps prevent erosion and is easy to propagate,” Gilliland explained. “By growing their own plants, the club saved thousands of dollars.”