BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation (NMBN) has been awarded the 2023 Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS) grant for a project designed to improve bass habitat in Cochiti Reservoir.
The New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation and the Canadian River Bass Club are currently helping with a large-scale fish habitat restoration project funded by a Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership in cooperation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Cochiti Pueblo.
Erosion caused by loss of terrestrial vegetation following devastating wildfires is bringing fine sediments into the reservoir that have smothered native vegetation and caused an explosion of invasive Eurasian Watermilfoil. The desired outcome of the project is to re-establish approximately 15 native aquatic and shoreline plant species, while reducing the abundance of milfoil in the reservoir, thus creating a more favorable fish habitat.
The APMS grant will help pay for the acquisition of native plants and establishing the propagation processes and facilities. In addition to planting sites in the reservoir, the USACE is planning the construction of an on-site greenhouse, and the Cochiti Pueblo is evaluating an unused fish hatchery for plant propagation. NMBN is also partnering with the tribe to include students from the nearby Cochiti Middle School and the Santa Fe Indian School in the development of plant sources and sustainability.
About APMS: The Aquatic Plant Management Society (www.apms.org) is an international organization of scientists, educators, students, commercial pesticide applicators, administrators and concerned individuals interested in the management and study of aquatic plants. APMS is the longest standing B.A.S.S. Conservation partner, collaborating on the preservation and enhancement of fish habitat through the responsible management of aquatic vegetation and the control of invasive species for more than 25 years.