LOCAL BASS CLUBS HELP IMPROVE HABITAT IN LAKE LORAMIE
Youth learn about fish conservation and angling during weekend event
XENIA, OHIO – On Saturday March 15, 2008, despite extremely foggy weather conditions, the Ohio Bass Federation’s Ohio Valley Bassmasters, Shelby County Bassmasters, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife (DOW) and Lake Loramie State Park teamed up to complete the final phase of a Spawning Habitat Improvement Partnership (SHIP) project around the lake. This large-scale conservation-partnering project was launched to enhance largemouth bass spawning habitat using artificial nesting boxes and is modeled after a successful SHIP project conducted at Buckeye Lake in 2005.
This project combined the experience and manpower of the Ohio Bass Federation membership, biological insights from the DOW, and cooperation of Lake Loramie State Park to allow project partners to experiment with a large-scale habitat manipulation to improve bass fisheries. Through this partnership 100 nesting boxes were placed in the lake.
Each nesting box is constructed using half of a plastic 55-gallon food-grade plastic drum that has the front and back walls removed to provide fish access to a gravel spawning substrate placed in the bottom of the drum. A landscape timber is inserted into the upper portion of the two remaining walls that is used for overhead cover and for transporting the box.
The DOW will monitor the bass population over the next several years, using standardized electrofishing surveys to assess and track the population each spring. These results may complement bass tournament information that the Ohio Bass Federation plans to keep track of during this time.
A hands-on fishing and conservation oriented educational event, “BassSchool", was also held in conjunction with the nest structure project. More than 25 youth, ages 6 to 18, participated in the BassSchool. These future anglers were taught fishing knots and rigging, fish handling, casting, fish habitat and conservation by DOW certified Passport to Fishing instructors.