Think Globally – Act Locally
Lake Arlington FWFF conservation project creates fish habitat
By Emily Craig
BIG FISH like structure, and little fish need cover to protect them from the big fish. And crappie just like to hide in the brush.
To help make sure there is plenty of each for everyone, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department-Inland Fisheries spearheaded a conservation project for Lake Arlington to start the New Year off right. Partnering with the city of Arlington, TPWD staff teamed up with volunteers from Fort Worth Fly Fishers, the Bass Fishing Club from Martin High School, and the Bass Fishing and Archery teams from Kennedale High School to construct a fleet of diverse multi-dimensional habitats. When the weather and water conditions are better, these fish-friendly structures will be placed at strategic locations underwater around Lake Arlington.
Two different types of structures were constructed. The so-called “Georgia Structures” consist of connected PVC pipes that form an open-sided box. Inside this box is tangle of corrugated drainage pipe. All of this is weighted with concrete blocks so it rests on the lake floor. The other structures are “crappie condos”. Long stalks of fresh bamboo were cut to about 12-foot lengths and multiple stems imbedded in 5-gallon buckets filled with concrete. These too, sink to the bottom and form long-lasting, tree-like structure even after the leaves decay.
There is no need to worry about accidentally running into one of these structures, because fish biology as well as boater safety were all a part of the plan. These structures are strategically placed so even at record low water levels they won’t impede boat traffic. The fishing fun can begin immediately because as soon as they are in place and stable, their exact locations will be released to the public. Stay tuned for that!
Funding for this project, and many others like it, comes from the sale of TPWD’s conservation license plates. To see the license plates and other projects the funds have supported, you can visit this link: https://conservationplate.org/. And don’t forget, the money from your hunting and fishing licenses allows Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to manage the natural resources of Texas.
FWFF gets $1,500 for Lake Mineral Wells conservation project
Fort Worth Fly Fishers is proud to announce that the club received a 2019 Friends of Reservoirs and Mossback Fish Habitat Company conservation grant.
This competitive grant will provide $1,500 (retail) worth of fish habitat materials to FWFF to be deployed at Lake Mineral Wells in Mineral Wells State Park. As part of the grant, Texas Parks and Wildlife will provide the technical oversight and flotation equipment for the deployment, while FWFF provides labor, In-kind shipping, and publicity.
Stay tuned for dates and times for volunteer activities associated with this exciting opportunity.
Fort Worth Fly Fishers is committed to creating and maintaining the clean habitat that our sport depends on. We participate in regular area clean-ups and encourage members to do their share when they are in the field. Special trash bags are available at monthly meetings as well. These bags are light and durable.
Conservation Projects– Southwest Nature Preserve
On Saturday, October 3, 2015, Fort Worth Fly Fishers, Dallas Fly Fishers and other fly fishing community volunteers removed cat tails from a future floating fishing pier site on the upper pond and removed pond weeds using tools that were purchased from a Cabela’s grant (via FWFF). Thanks, Bill Stuart, Les Jackson, Craig & Jessie Lutz, Roger Slagle, Mike McCorkhill and Jose Benavides for your ongoing efforts to make the Arlington Southwest Nature Preserve an educational fishing demonstration area.
Give a fly fisher a tool and he/she will use it to improve habitat. Les Jackson and Roger Slagle working to remove rough pond weed (an invasive species) from the lower pond at Arlington Southwest Nature Preserve. This work will help balance the ecosystem on the pond.
Thanks and remember, we can make a difference!!