PRINEVILLE, Ore. — The efforts made by members of the Central Oregon Bass Club were recognized in the July edition of the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership's newsletter.
Club members have been working to build wintering habitat for young-of-the-year fish in Prineville Reservoir.
Construction of the spider blocks is set for Sept. 8, with placement to occur in early spring, when ice leaves the 3,030-acre reservoir in the high desert of eastern Oregon. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife purchased the pipe, Willamette Greystone supplied the block, and Oregon B.A.S.S. Federation Nation provided the labor for pouring the concrete.
Largemouth bass in the lake “suffer from a lack of aquatic vegetation, spawning habitat, and fluctuating water levels,” explained Chuck Lang, club member and state conservation director.
“ODFW determined that a major limiting factor for a healthy population is lack of overwintering habitat for young-of-the-year. When winter water-level drawdown occurs, larger predators and young-of-the-year bass are forced into the same areas.”
As a result, electrofishing surveys revealed that large numbers of survived until winter, but few were around in the spring.
“Our long-term goal has been to add overwintering habitat that gives cover,” Lang said. “We chose spider blocks due to their longevity and their characteristic of not moving once placed.”