CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — Allatoona Lake is the site of a major habitat restoration project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps will partner with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) and local volunteers, including members of the Georgia B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, to improve fish habitat throughout the lake.
"We're excited to be a part of such an important project," said Doug Moore, president of the Georgia B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. "The lake has been in need of improvements for a long time and this will really improve the fishing."
According to Corps Public Awareness Ranger Chris Purvis, the project will consist of cutting shoreline trees with exposed root systems — and already in the process of dying — to make laydowns along the shore. "It'll replace the wood that has rotted or otherwise disappeared over the years," he said.
Because most of the trees are big, the improvement to the fishery will benefit many species of fish. "Bluegill and sunfish can use the shallows, bass and crappie will take advantage of the middle, and catfish will benefit from the deeper portions of the trees," Purvis added.
After the trees are cut, they will be anchored with cables and stakes to prevent them from moving and to protect the shoreline from continued erosion, a serious problem on Allatoona. Targeted areas for restoration include Cooper Branch, Red Top Mountain State Park, Clear Creek and Allatoona Pass.
A project of this size and type requires a lot of hard physical work on the part of many individuals, but Moore reports that members of the Federation Nation are excited about getting started. "We must maintain our fisheries if we are to keep young anglers involved in the sport of fishing. We're willing to do whatever they [Corps and GDNR] ask if it means better fishing," said Moore