SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – For the third consecutive year, the Board of Directors of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame announces that the Hall has awarded four conservation grants to contribute to the mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport of bass fishing. The awardees were selected through a highly competitive process, and they represent a diverse group of deserving projects.
“Each year we continue to be impressed by the seriousness and dedication of our applicants,” said Bass Fishing Hall of Fame President John Mazurkiewicz. “We all agree that habitat restoration and management, and other conservation efforts, remain the bedrock of our sport and are critical to bass fishing’s future. These grants are one means of giving back to the wider community.”
The four grantees are as follows:
- Tennessee B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation and High School/Youth — Tims Ford Lake Reservoir Habitat Restoration/Enhancement: This project encompasses angler (youth and adult) education, reservoir habitat enhancement/clean up, fish attractor construction and organizational partnership development. With the guidance and supervision of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) fisheries personnel, US Army Corp of Engineers (Nashville District), Tennessee Valley Authority Natural Resources personnel and BASS Nation leaders, this grantee will coordinate build, educate anglers on how to build effective habitat and fish attractor structures and the benefits of both through proper planning, placement and evaluation on Tims Ford Lake in support of the Bill Dance Fishing Trail.
- Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School Team Trail — Mobile Fish Care Trailer: This grantee will buy a dual-axle heavy duty trailer and modify it with a tool box and oxygen tank holder and subsequently mount upon it a fiberglass live release tank. Oxygen and aeration systems will be added in consultation with BASS and AL Fisheries biologists. This trailer will be used for high school events instead of a live release boat as it is much less expensive to build and easier to maintain, with greater conservation benefits
- Bluegrass Bassmasters — Lake Barkley cypress tree planting: This project aims to decrease siltation and the expansion of mud flats on Lake Barkley by increasing shoreline stability through cypress tree plantings. Cypress trees are native to western Kentucky and are one of only a few species that can thrive along the shoreline and within the drawdown zone of Lake Barkley. One thousand young trees will be planted in groves of several individual trees in sites chosen by KDFWR. This project may be expanded if and when more funds become available in the future.
- Texas B.A.S.S. Nation — Lake Belton Structural Habitat Improvement Project: This project will replace fish habitat that has been lost to natural reservoir aging processes. Specifically, Texas B.A.S.S. Nation worked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the US Army Corp of Engineers, and the Brazos River Authority to create four new fish habitat sites and will use the provided funds to further enhance artificial fish habitat at these same sites.
“Once again we are proud to incentivize and reward the substantial sweat equity that these entities will produce,” said Board member Gene Gilliland, who is also the B.A.S.S. Conservation Director and a recent Hall inductee. “It was difficult to choose the best four, but we’re confident that this group represents the best of the best. As time goes on, we hope that our efforts will become even more inclusive and substantial.” Gilliland and Board member Casey Shedd with AFTCO spearheaded the BFHOF conservation grant selection process.