An effort to restore native aquatic vegetation to a popular fishery and construction of a live release boat are two projects that are coming to fruition from grant funds provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and BASS Conservation "More Fish Partnership Fund."
The Seven Coves Bass Club located near Lake Conroe Texas has been awarded a $34,015 grant to help fund the club's Lake Conroe Native Plant Nursery and Habitat Restoration Program.
"The goal of our project is to establish an aquatic plant nursery capable of producing native aquatic vegetation that will be planted in Lake Conroe and other lakes around Texas," said Ron Gunter, Southeast Regional Conservation Director for the Texas BASS Federation Nation. "The vegetation will improve fish habitat and support the goals of the National Fish Habitat Action plan."
He added, "The Seven Coves Bass Club and our partners will provide matching funds through donations and in kind services which will bring the total project cost to well over $68,030."
Another phase of the project will be to construct a Giant Salvinia weevil nursery to support the biological control efforts being used to control Giant Salvinia on Lake Conroe The 3 year old Seven Coves Bass Club hopes to help stop the spread of non native aquatic vegetation which can be detrimental to desirable fish habitat and cause access and navigation problems for other users of the resource..
The Texas Federation Nation has also been awarded a $13,000 BASS Conservation Fish Care Grant. The money will go towards the purchase of a working live release boat to facilitate the care for tournament caught bass during Federation Nation and other events. The Texas Federation Nation has identified the need to provide better fish care procedures to increase survival and reduce delayed mortality for tournament caught bass.
"Tournament weigh-in facilities do not always provide adequate resources and tournament caught fish are often released into shallow areas with questionable water quality" said Tim Cook, Texas Federation Nation conservation director. "A release boat will allow our organization to not only provide better care to our catch through observing and fizzing prior to being released, but also present a much more professional image to the public and to our state agencies."
He continued, "By proactively taking steps to care for our catch and releasing the fish in a more desirable manner, we may circumvent over reactive government restrictions that could be detrimental to our sport."