Colorado club focuses on cleanups and habitat

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Centennial Bass Club has begun what it hopes will be an ongoing cleanup effort at Horsetooth Reservoir,  the group’s home waters and one of Colorado’s most popular recreational fisheries. In fall 2013, two dozen volunteers used 10 boats to collect enough trash, including batteries, carpet and cardboard, to fill three dumpsters.

“We took volunteers around the lake to walk the shore, and then we loaded the trash in our boats and brought it in to dispose of,” explained Bill Wilson, a long-time club member who helps with conservation projects and also is a boat inspector for aquatic nuisance species at Horsetooth.

“We try to do at least one major project each year and several smaller ones,” added the man who also is chairman of the club’s Full Moon Open (FMO) charity tournament and coordinator for the annual Catch a Special Thrill children’s event at Horsetooth.

“I believe, as do most B.A.S.S. Nation members, that we need to do more to preserve our sport and our resources than just put back the fish we catch. … We have been blessed with the success of our FMO tournament and, beyond local donations of supplies, we can now afford to reach out on our own to accomplish some great things and help our community.”

Assisted by a grant from Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, Centennial also teamed with Loveland Fishing Club to purchase and install a dock at Lonetree Reservoir. “The dock project took about three years to come to reality,” Wilson said.

And two years ago, the club used PVC to make “bucket tree” habitats that were placed in local ponds. “We plan on repeating this project soon,” he added.

Wilson emphasized that the club’s new conservation director, John Murphy, “already is planning and working on several projects for the near future, including adopting one of our nearby lakes, placing lighting and several docks.”

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