Eastern Bassmasters Making a Difference

Felton, Del. — The Eastern Shore Bassmasters of Delaware, in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) have completed a habitat restoration project at Killen's Pond in Felton. The club is an affiliated member of the Delaware B.A.S.S. Federation Nation.

 The club participated in the DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife GO FISH program which stands for Fill In Structural Habitat. The GO FISH program consists of clubs applying to the DNREC program requesting to plant artificial or natural fish attractors in area ponds and lakes to enhance the habitat for all species of fish.

 Members of Eastern Shore Bassmasters collected discarded Christmas trees after the holidays and constructed bundles of trees that were weighted with concrete blocks and placed in the ponds in areas that are productive places for fish to seek shelter and food. The tree bundles also serve as fish attracting features along the shoreline to provide more opportunities for shoreline anglers, or bank fishermen. Two shoreline fish attractors were placed in the pond along Killen's Pond Road and will be made visible to bank fishermen through the Division of Fish and Wildlife identifying the two locations as fish attractors on the pond's map, and placement of signs at the park indicating such. The other 13 tree bundles were placed in areas to provide cover and safe habitat for fish throughout the pond.

 The tree bundles were constructed by taking two trees joined side by side and tied at the trunks and tips. The concrete blocks were then fastened one to each end of the bundle to help sink the trees and hold them in place in the water. The trees were placed by members of the club from their boats in various locations on the pond in no less than five feet of water, as not to impede boat navigation.

 The club considered the idea to enhance habitat in area ponds due to the large numbers of ponds with featureless lake cover and structure such as stumps, weed beds, submerged timber, rock piles, and dock pilings. The consideration was given to bank fishermen as well to attract more numbers of fish closer to shore. The fish attractors will provide opportunities for more anglers as more fish become accustomed to using the tree bundles for cover, food, and staging areas.

 Club President Dave Perrego and Conservation Director Avery Dalton have been in contact with DNREC's Cathy Martin, a fisheries biologist for the Division of Fish and Wildlife and GO FISH program administrator since early this year. Ms. Martin indicated that the lack of participating clubs in the program would have been grounds to eliminate the program totally, however interest from Eastern Shore and another local club based out of Middletown, applied simultaneously for the program.

 For more information on how your Delaware club or organization can participate in the GO FISH program, contact Cathy Martin at (302) 653-2887 or email her at catherine.martin@state.de.us. To contact the club to inquire about future conservation projects and general membership, please call Dave Perrego at (302) 339-2133, or email the club at easternshorebassmasters@yahoo.com. The club's website can be found at www.eteamz.com/easternshorebassmasters.