February 23, 2011 – (Submitted by Carl Guffey, TN Bass Federation Conservation Director)
The Tennessee Bass Federation started a habitat project today on Ft. Loudoun. This event is being coordinated through the Girl Scouts so that Scout Laura Hullen may work her way toward a Gold Award. She started working post holidays at one of the Home Depots collecting Christmas trees for us to recycle in this project. Today she was on site dragging trees, tying ropes and working hard to make this habitat effort a reality.
We were hoping to have a complete “standing tree” project but most of the area we are trying to enhance is silt. On the first day we moved the trees from dry ground out to the lake site and started putting them into five tree bundles. We have a total of 39 bundles most of which we are going to stake down with metal ground substrates and nylon rope .Tomorrow our plan is to try and drill holes along the creek bottom and stand a small portion of trees. We are going to just wait and see if the ground is solid enough to support our efforts.
On the second day we tested additional areas on the substrate and see if it would be possible to stand some trees along the creek channel. After drilling a few holes the ground looked strong enough to support vertical trees. We started drilling, cleaning holes, trimming limbs, and tree trunks. It was a very busy morning and well worth the effort. We finished the hard work around 12 noon and broke for lunch. After lunch, it was clean up time and everyone started picking up the area. I found an old oven up the creek channel and spent more than a little time picking up and removing it from the water. We also found several metal fence posts and a couple of tires. It just amazes me what people will throw into a body of water.
The project has been a grand success. We should see some good results from the fish stock over the next year or so. I would like to take this time give a very special thank you to all of those who were willing to help on this project.