West Virginia adds path and habitat with Shimano grant


Photo courtesy of Jerod Harman

Volunteers of all ages helped with the West Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation's projects to improve access and enhance habitat.

ROANOKE, W.Va. — The West Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation has used a $5,000 grant funded by Shimano to improve access to Stonewall Jackson Lake and enhance habitat at four other lakes in the state.

The $5,000 Shimano/B.A.S.S. Youth Conservation Initiative grant paid for equipment rental, materials and signage to build an access path for Stonewall Jackson Lake anglers who fish from the bank. The grant also paid for materials to construct hundreds of spider blocks (plastic pipe structures) for enhancing spawning habitat at Burnsville, Beech Fork, Sutton and Summerville lakes.

Fishing from the bank was a problem at Stonewall Jackson Lake because its shoreline was choked with brush, according to Jerod Harman, West Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation conservation director.

“We wanted to create a place where nearly anyone could walk and have a chance to catch a few fish,” Harman said.

Construction of the access path began last year but was halted because of wet conditions along the lake’s shoreline that prevented the use of heavy equipment. More than 40 volunteers provided labor for the project, which was completed in June.

“We had a mixed bag of volunteers with a lot of kids, some of our West Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation members and some DNR people,” Harman said.

Clubs that helped with the project included the Appalachian Bassmasters, Mon Valley Bassmasters, I-79 Bassmasters, Classic Bound Bassmasters, Tygart Valley Bassmasters, WV Bassmasters, Stonewall Jackson Bassmasters, Lewis County High School bass team, Fairmont Senior High School bass team and the West Virginia University fishing team.