Angler Conservation Team: In their own words

Read about ACT activities around the country.

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ACT Project Updates by State
The following entries are ACT Project updates.
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• Clean-up on Lake Jordan, April 12, 2008
By Barbara Dreyer, project coordinator
We removed 4.96 tons of trash from the lake in 4 hours, had approximately 200 volunteers and 40 boats. One of the pictures is of some of the Cub Scouts that helped — they did a great job.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.


•  Creek Week Clean-Up, Sacramento, Calif., April 26, 2008
CBFN ACTs Clean Up Waterways in Sacramento Valley
By Mike Landy, BASS Federation Nation CA Conservation Director

California BASS Federation Nation recently joined the Urban Creeks Council of Sacramento and several local clubs for “Creek Week 2008.” Creek Week is an area-wide volunteer effort held annually with a goal of improving and enhancing urban waterways by collecting and removing trash and debris as well as invasive exotic plants.
Mike Landy had been involved with Creek Week some years ago and then recently become the Conservation Director for CBFN. “I was asked to help with the state’s conservation effort last fall, but until I traveled to the Classic and met fellow CDs I wasn’t sure where to start. After hearing about ACT, I remembered Creek Week and decided to use that event as my first effort. I started spreading the word and people got involved. They deserve the credit along with Urban Creeks Council.”
Local anglers from Basin Bassmasters, Galaxie Bassmasters (Jr. Club) and Golden State Bass Club rolled up their sleeves and pitched in. CBFN President Andy Sayles joined several others at an Elk Grove park. “This was an awesome opportunity to show the public that anglers, both youth and adult, are responsible stewards of the environment.”
Andy, Mike and the rest of the CBFN are already looking forward to increasing their partnership with UCC for Creek Week 2009.

By Andrew Sayles, President – California BASS Federation Nation
Creek Week is a great ACT project. I enjoyed cleaning up in an area that my other half walks with our four legged kids on a weekly basis.
In April 2008 I went to Creek Week with Ronnie Milner and his wife and Chris Potts and his mother Alisa Potts. We had a fun event and showed up 15 minutes early only to find a line of over 100 people waiting to sign up to help. On the next weekend our Junior angler, Travis Bounds, went out with his parents and worked at a different location. I would take part again, if needed. Thanks Mike Landy who sent our e-mail to let people know of the event and get involved.

By John and Christy Bounds
Travis took part in the Creek Week over the weekend and actually had a great time.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Habitat Improvement Project on Allatoona Lake, GA
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District
By Christopher Purvis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger, Allatoona Lake
Two projects that have had tremendous results the last two years:
Fish Habitat Improvement Program and Christmas Tree Recycling Program Partners: US Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Power Plant Bowen, Keep Paulding Beautiful, Keep Bartow Beautiful, Wildlife Action, Trees Bartow, Wal-Mart Acworth, local fisherman and volunteers. This partnership worked together on two projects to help improve fish habitat on Allatoona Lake.
The Fish Habitat Improvement Program saw local volunteers, with help from several agencies, cut down unhealthy trees on the Allatoona shoreline, dropping them into the lake bed to create fish structure when lake levels rise in the spring. Most of the volunteers on this project are local fisherman and guides. This project is currently coming to an end for the season and will begin again in winter/ spring.
Volunteers and partners for the last two years have helped to create permanent concrete structures near fishing jetties that would hold recycled Christmas trees. Every year donated trees will be anchored to the structures for fish habitat and the old ones discarded. Over 1,000 trees were recycled and placed on the Allatoona shoreline in 2008. Volunteers will be needed again this fall for this project on work dates slated to start in November 2008 and last until February 2009.
For further information on volunteering for these projects, please email the Allatoona Lake Operations Project Management Office at or by calling 678-721-6700.
By Jim Sheridan, Volunteer
I became aware of the fish habitat improvement program at Lake Allatoona several years ago, and after speaking with USACE Rangers, remembered my childhood and how several adults had contributed their time so that local youngsters could enjoy good fishing. I decided the time had come to give something back for the kids, and that is why I have been participating in the program. I hoped that we would make a difference so that the youngsters could enjoy the outdoors in general and specifically fishing.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I took a walk along one of the areas where we had been working last winter. We came across a young father with his daughter and son fishing from shore. After checking into their success, the proud dad mentioned that he values the time he can spend with his children at the lake. As we walked away the young lad ran up and said: “Thank you very much for helping, sir.” I continued on with a smile on my face knowing that the issue of making a difference had been settled.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Mississippi Power’s Renew Our Rivers program, May 14-17, 2008
By Flinda Hill, Project Coordinator
The Pascagoula Renew Our Rivers clean-up had 136 participants with 30+ boats. We were underway for an hour and 45 minutes that day when a serious thunderstorm blew up and we had to cancel. We were able to clean up just under 2 tons of litter and debris in that short period of time. We are probably going to shoot for the week of October 13th to try to do it again.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Peconic Estuary Program: Ongoing water primrose removal
December 9, 2008

By Dan Leonard
Calverton, N.Y., Volunteer

As a member of BASS and an ACT volunteer, I, along with others, helped with an invasive weed pull on the Peconic River on Long Island, N.Y. (two days in June, two days in July). After this year’s pull — our third year doing this — we saw what hard work will do.
The first year dumpsters, totaling 60 yards, were filled with the weeds, all pulled by hand.
This year only about four yards came from approximately four miles of river that yielded 60 yards three years ago.
Volunteers, both young and old, in johnboats, canoes, kayaks or waist deep in water and mud, did a remarkable job. Hot sun, a few bugs and small leeches made for two great weekends. Making new friends and knowing some people do care about the nature around us means there is a future for the Peconic River.
Rivers, streams, lakes and ponds have to be taken care of now. They have to be saved for the next generations to come along, to fish or just sit on the bank to picnic.
After the scheduled June and July clean-ups, people continued to pluck the primrose when it was spotted — something that has to be done. Keep reminding people the battle against invasives doesn’t end after a few days of plucking or digging, etc.  

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

• Peconic Estuary Program and Volunteers Successfully Eradicate Invasive
An Update as of September 11, 2008

By Laura Stephenson
Peconic Estuary Program Coordinator

Ludwigia peploides, more commonly known as water primrose, is a South American species first detected in the Peconic River in 2003. This aquatic non-native, invasive plant which grows primarily on the waters surface spreads rapidly in warm weather months and can often take over entire slow flowing waterbodies. Ludwigia poses a major threat to the Peconic River as it acts as unsuitable fish habitat, outcompetes native plants, reduces biodiversity, blocks sunlight to oxygen producing submerged plants, and severely impedes recreational uses of the river.
The Peconic Estuary Program and its many partners (NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, United States EPA, The Nature Conservancy, Peconic Lake Estates Civic Organization, Freshwater Anglers of Long Island, Long Island Bassmasters to mention a few) have embarked on a multi-year monitoring and volunteer driven eradication effort in an attempt to rid the species from the Peconic River and prevent spreading to other Long Island waters. Since the initiation of the eradication effort in the spring of 2006, over 350 volunteers have spent over 1,500 hours hand-pulling over 126 cubic yards of Ludwigia.
Monitoring suggests efforts have been extremely successful in controlling the invasive plant, so successful in fact, that large volunteer eradication events may no longer be needed. Project partners will continue monitoring the river for years to come, though are hopeful that only small scale maintenance pulling will be required in the future, and are asking that users groups continue to keep a watchful eye and remove and properly dispose of any Ludwigia in the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Invasive Species Drop Boxes located at access sites along the Peconic River.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Peconic Estuary Program: Water primrose removal, June 21 & 22, July 12 & 13
By Laura Stephenson
Peconic Estuary Program Coordinator

We’re all still recovering from our June weekend of pulling invasive Ludwigia from the Peconic River and looking forward to our upcoming pull this weekend! After being out on the water for our 3rd season, I am truly amazed at how successful this project has been, and we couldn’t be any happier with the results seen thus far. The Ludwigia has not come back in the areas we pulled and we have managed to stay ahead of this fast-growing plant, knocking out all of the large infestations and restoring some great fish habitat! We wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without our volunteers.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Fourth Annual Grand Lake Shoreline Cleanup, May 10, 2008 and Sept. 20, 2008
By Dr. Larry Stout, Project Coordinator
Nineteen squadron members participated in the shoreline clean-up May 10. The Winns and Stones provided pontoon boats and the Chalupniks and Wheats provided trailers to transport collected debris to the dumpster site.
We cleaned the shoreline by the bridge on E 250 Rd. east of Red Eleven and at the north end of Sailboat Bridge.
The Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce joined with us this year and cleaned an area by the county dump station near Kahoot’s.
Bassmaster contacted us and listed our clean-up on their site. They thought more volunteers could be available for the next clean-up September 20.
Overall, three roll-offs at 30 yards each were filled with shoreline trash and lots of dock flotation Styrofoam. Collin’s Roll-Off service was excellent to work with this year. They even brought the third roll-off after a last minute call of desperation when the first one on Highway 59 filled rapidly.
The GRDA wants to expand the clean-up in September with more dumpsters around the lake.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Spectacle Pond Clean-up
Sponsored by the Rhode Island BASS Federation Nation & Twin Oaks Restaurant

By Mike Asciola
VP/Conservation Director, RI BASS Federation Nation

The Rhode Island BASS Federation Nation spearheaded the clean-up of Spectacle Pond off Route10 in Cranston, R.I. Spectacle Pond is a small millpond that is part of the Pawtuxet River system. The pond has a lot of history relating back to the manufacturing of beer for the Narragansett Brewery Company.
The group of volunteers met at 8:30 a.m. for coffee and donuts donated by the RI BASS Federation Nation. While three boats took a quick survey of the pond, the group of 30 volunteers broke into teams and headed out to problem areas that had scattered litter and debris. The boats played a critical part in moving people and equipment and many trips of trash to designated drop-off areas around the pond. The group ended up focusing all efforts on the north end of the pond where a large shopping plaza appears to be a major problem area of scattered litter of plastic bags and shopping carts. Other items collected include several tires, TVs, an air conditioner and other household items that were dumped behind the shopping center and next to the pond.
By Noon, the group had filled a 30-yard dumpster and left a huge pile of trash that was collected behind a large shopping plaza on the north end of the pond. The pile of trash was picked up on the following Monday by a private trash contractor.
The volunteers were treated to a great lunch compliments of Billy De Angelis III of the Twin Oaks Restaurant on Pleasant St. in Cranston, R.I. The Twin Oaks restaurant is located on Spectacle Pond. Billy and his family are great stewards for their pond and were very easy to work with. He allowed us to use his private access to the pond. That was very helpful because there’s no public ramp on this pond.
The RI BASS Federation Nation is planning another clean-up project for next year. Roger Williams Park will be the location, which is also part of the Pawtuxet River system.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

• Sam Rayburn, Texas, July 18, 2009
Giant Salvinia Cleanup at Lake Sam Rayburn New video!
Volunteers join forces to save Lake Sam Rayburn from giant salvinia, an invasive plant that can clog waterways and destroy native aquatic life. This video includes close-up visuals and instruction on how to identify giant salvinia. Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Lake Conroe, Texas, March 22, 2008 — Phase I
Aquatic Plant Restoration Project
(Funded with a Federal Grant Sponsored by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and B.A.S.S.)
By Ron Gunter
Vice President, Seven Coves Bass Club

The Seven Coves Bass Club, a Texas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation affiliated club, recently completed the first phase of a native plant restoration program on Lake Conroe near Houston, Texas.
Thirty-seven volunteers participated in the first day of transplanting 500 native aquatic plants into the lake. The vallisneria americana (water celery) plants were provided by the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility out of Texas, and the facility also provided two supervisors who assisted in the success of the project.
The volunteer base consisted of many organizations including the Texas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, the B.A.S.S. “Angler Conservation Team,” the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the San Jacinto River Authority, students from the Texas A & M University graduate program, local residents, and media crews from both newspaper and television programs.
The 500 water celery plants were placed into the lake, and then covered with protective pvc coated wire mesh cages to inhibit predation from fish, waterfowl, and aquatic reptiles. Each cage was also marked with project labels on 1-inch pipes to publish the placement of the plants.
The purpose of the restoration program is to keep an establishment of native aquatic plants present in Lake Conroe. Recent hydrilla strategies within the lake have included the use of triploid grass carp. This herbivore fish species has been stocked to assist in the management of the hydrilla. The Seven Coves Bass Club’s aquatic plant program is designed to help ensure that there will be a healthy fishery in Lake Conroe for future generations to enjoy.
The program will continue with reciprocal stockings throughout the growing seasons in 2008, and 2009. Volunteers will be welcomed to participate throughout the lifespan of the program. The contact individual for the Lake Conroe Aquatic Plant Restoration Project is the program’s director: Ron Gunter.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.

•  Lake Conroe, Texas, June 1, 2008 — Phase II
By Ron Gunter
Vice President, Seven Coves Bass Club

On June 1, 30 volunteers converged on Lake Conroe in southeast Texas to participate in the lake’s native plant restoration project. This project is being sponsored by the Seven Coves Bass Club of Willis, Texas, with the help of a federal grant from the More Fish Partnership Fund.
The volunteers were successful in transplanting 200 vallisnera americana (water celery) plants into the lake on this, the second session of planting. The program has transplanted a total of 700 plants into the lake since March 22 of this year. Volunteers from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the San Jacinto River Authority, the Texas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, the B.A.S.S. “Angler Conservation Team,” and the general community donated nearly 90 hours and 1,219 miles to assist in the restoration project on June 1.
With the eradication of nearly 2,000 acres of hydrilla in Lake Conroe over the past two years, the Seven Coves Bass Club project has become one of the most important restoration projects in the area to help keep the local bass fishery in a healthy state. The club plans to sponsor at least two more sessions on the lake this year and hopes to bring the total number of transplants to well over a thousand plants by the fall.

Check out photos from ACT events in the ACT Scrapbook.