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Nesting boxes for Buckeye Lake

Discussion in 'Bass Discussions' started by Net, Aug 25, 2005.

    SHIP comes in as project to aid Buckeye Lake
    Thursday, August 25, 2005
    Dave Golowenski

    Artificial nesting boxes for bass will be placed in Buckeye Lake in March at strategic locations.

    Many clubs do waterway cleanups, which are helpful, welcome and necessary. The Ohio B.A.S.S. Chapter Federation, though, wanted to do something different.

    The bass-friendly group "was interested in developing a project that would provide a meaningful conservation experience to adult and youth members that could be used by multiple clubs," said Rich Carter, chairman of the federation’s Buckeye Lake Spawning Habitat Improvement Partnership, or SHIP.

    So rather than taking stuff out of Buckeye Lake, the federation will be putting something into it — about 100 things, actually — that the impoundment’s largemouths might find to their liking.

    What SHIP means exactly is that the federation, with the help of local B.A.S.S. chapters and of Boy Scouts from Grandview and Perry County, will be constructing artificial nesting boxes Saturday.

    In partnership with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the nesting boxes will be placed in March at strategic locations where it’s hoped that bass will readily move in next spawning season and raise the next generation of a popular but seldom abundant sport fish.

    The plan, Carter said, grew out of conversations with fisheries biologist Scott Hale, supervisor of the wildlife division’s Inland Fisheries Research Unit. Hale suggested a habitat improvement project because shoreline development during the past 20 years has reduced the amount of spawning habitat at Buckeye Lake.

    "Habitat is at the top of the list of factors critical to sustaining strong bass populations," Hale said. "That fact alone makes this worth a try."

    Nesting boxes fabricated out of 35-gallon, foodgrade plastic drums have been tried with apparent success in a few Kentucky lakes, Carter said. Such boxes, when lined with gravel and impaled with a section of landscape timber to make them easier to transport and place, each will weigh between 100 and 150 pounds.

    Part of the Buckeye Lake project will be the continued monitoring of the nesting boxes to see whether they are adopted by bass and to determine how well they hold up during central Ohio’s sometimes-icy winters.

    "We see this as an opportunity as a club to have a very special project," Carter said, but even more as "an opportunity to educate."

    With the latter goal in mind, youngsters can attend one of several seminars conducted Saturday morning during what is being dubbed as Bass School. They include:

    • Bass biology and habitat, which covers the bass life cycle and the importance of habitat.

    • Watershed protection, which covers the role of healthy waterways in sustaining fish populations.

    • Boating safety.

    • Advanced angling, which will be taught by central Ohio B.A.S.S. circuit professionals, including Wes Kemper, Ray Craig, Todd Thompson and Karl Guegold.

    After "school" lets out, youngsters will join in helping with the construction of the artificial boxes, which is scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Beach area.

    Buckeye Lake was chosen for the project, Carter said, partly because of its central location, allowing more participation by club members. However, it was what the federation is calling "variable fishing success over the years" by members that led to the notion that the habitat-degraded lake might be in need of artificial help to produce more bass.

    Wildlife division biologists during the next several years will conduct electrofishing sampling to try to determine whether 100 nesting boxes make a difference. For its part, the federation plans to keep close track of tournament results to help point toward possible changes in the bass population.

    Any success that results from the project will belong to the project participants. But that success, let it be noted, will be shared with anyone who fishes at Buckeye Lake in the coming years.

    Copyright © 2005, The Columbus Dispatch
  2. interesting read and a good idea.

  3. Fletch

    Fletch FishOn

    I agree, very interesting and good idea.