I represent a group of local fishermen in Central Mississippi whom have been creating fish habitat in the Ross Barnett Reservoir over the last year. Much of the standing timber and lean overs within our nearly 60 year old reservoir have shed most horizontal limbs or fallen over.
We have created and sank approximately two dozen large bamboo brush piles within Pelahatchie Bay with money out of our own pockets. It is already paying dividends with tens of thousands of bait fish and juvenile sport fish utilizing these new habitat features.
We would like to graduate to larger natural structure to provide habitat for the increase in mature fish expected in the coming years. Our plan is take advantage of the availability of unwanted Bradford Pear trees. This species of tree is common, has branching that lends itself to providing good structure, and has a specific gravity of .90 meaning it can be submerged with a minimal amount of weight attached.
That same specific gravity also means it is quite heavy and cumbersome to work with. We will need a vessel modified to load, transport, and deploy this structure. After much research, discussion, and debate we have settled on what could be called an hydraulic dump barge. A pontoon has been donated by RJ's Outboard & Marina in the interest of seeing fish habitat improved. RJ's has also made a trailer available at a very low cost to us. We have located a dump body with a self-contained 12V hydraulic scissor lift system to mount on the pontoon. We need to purchase the trailer, dump body, battery, cables, electrical switches, boxes, etc., and have some welding done. Our budget requirements to accomplish this is approximately $3000. It seems like a lot but if divided by the number of fishermen that stand to benefit, it's a small price to pay. Please join us in funding this project if you would like to see additional fish habitat created within the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
- Jeff Marshall
- Timothy Frye
- Stuart Ballew
- Jeffrey Welborn
- Jeff Ross
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