Conservation News Conservation cleanup at Pickwick Posted on June 14, 2022 Photography by Chris Mitchell Alabama Staff Photography by Will Flowers Staff Before Semifinal Saturday at the Whataburger Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake, 66 volunteers took part in the B.A.S.S. Conservation Lake Clean-Up Challenge sponsored by AFTCO & Yamaha Rightwaters, which brought in 4,479 pounds of trash and debris. B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland reviews a map with volunteers to coordinate locations where each team will be picking up litter. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chad Pipkens joined the Lake Clean-Up prior to heading home to Michigan. “I make my living enjoying the outdoor resources and there's no reason not to leave a fishery better than we found it. We shouldn't have to clean up after other people, but I've got no problem doing so when needed." Volunteers from five organizations look to the shores of Pickwick Landing State Park to fill their AFTCO Bank Bags. Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful brought two boats to gather trash and debris on the water and further from the state park. Those boats came back weighed-down with a variety of trash, including a buoy, tires and dock float. Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful partnered with the Pickwick ParrotHeads to bring in an astounding 3,162 pounds of trash in their boats. B.A.S.S. CEO Chase Anderson was on-hand to meet with volunteers and was especially impressed by the 13 members of the Mount Pleasant Junior Bass Club, who spent their Saturday morning helping to improve the fishery. The team, which included 10 youth anglers, weighed in 272 pounds of litter. Scales on loan from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division got a workout as a steady stream of barrels, AFTCO Bank Bags, wood and even an old cooler were weighed in as groups returned to Pickwick Landing State Park before the start of Saturday’s Outdoors Expo. On the other side of that mountain of trash, Gene Gilliland and Chase Anderson take a moment to thank everyone who spent their morning gathering garbage and introduced a special guest… The legendary Bill Dance! Bill Dance not only shared stories about his history on Pickwick but also made a plea for every angler and boater to carry a trash bag with them and pick up whatever trash they find, "Leaving it cleaner than you found it." A HUGE thanks to the five organizations who came out to the B.A.S.S. Conservation Lake Clean-Up Challenge sponsored by AFTCO & Yamaha Rightwaters: Aspell Recovery of Hardin County, Belgreen Bass Club, Mount Pleasant Junior Bass Club, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and the Pickwick ParrotHeads, and the Savannah Moose Lodge.