Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance
A joint venture between Chip's Marine, Springfield Crappie Club, Central Illinois Crappie Club, JP Construction, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the US Army Corps of Engineers resulted in new fish structure being added to Lake Shelbyville. Chip Christenson owner of Chip's Marine located 5 miles south of Sullivan, IL approached Natural Resource Specialist Lee Mitchell with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville in late August about giving back to the resource through the establishment of permanent fish structure. Intrigued by the idea Lee contacted Mike Mounce, IDNR fisheries biologist for Lake Shelbyville and a meeting was set up between the three. Mikes idea for permanent fish structure was based on a structure known as the Georgia Cube, a design originating in GA and successfully utilized in many southern reservoirs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed-S7ky4cXI). Mike and Chip modified this original design to improve the habitat attraction for largemouth bass and to ensure the cubes wouldn't move in the current of Lake Shelbyville. This new design is now known as the Lake Shelbyville cube! Once everyone was satisfied with the design, Chip contacted local members of the fishing community and set up a build day in mid-November that was enthusiastically attended. On December 9th Jon Summers Lake Shelbyville Operations Manager, Lee Mitchell and Mike Mounce marked areas for the cubes in appropriate depths and locations to ensure the safety of the visiting public and the enhancement of the fisheries. On December 10 approximately eighteen Lake Shelbyville Cubes were deployed in the Camp Camfield and Bo Wood area of Lake Shelbyville by Mike Mounce, Chip Christenson and a half dozen members of the aforementioned clubs.
With the success of the operation, more cube drops are planned for next year. Chip's Marine built a small scale model of the Lake Shelbyville Cube and placed it in his business along with a donation box for anyone that is interested in supporting the project. and one is planned for the Lake Shelbyville Project Office. All donations will go directly towards purchasing materials for future cubes. The cubes will last many times longer than Christmas Trees placed annually on Fish Habitat Day held each year in March.
Fishermen are reminded that placing any structure in the lake is ILLEGAL. Only habitat placed on a sanctioned US Army Corps of Engineers Fish Habitat Day or through a collaborative effort like this one are permitted. Strategic locations and depths that will not pose a water hazard to boaters and swimmers are picked by US Army Corps of Engineers staff and IDNR biologists for habitat drops. Additionally, permits must be secured prior to the drops.
Habitat and Fish Attractor Projects on Lake Shelbyville
The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, an affiliation of the National Fish Habitat Partnership, has provided funding ($87,000) for many of the habitat and fish attractor projects on Lake Shelbyville through grants to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on behalf of the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance. Anglers and their families, many fishing clubs and local businesses, non-governmental organizations, local municipalities, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have also joined forces, both financially and physically, to support the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance in an effort to improve the quality of the fishery on Lake Shelbyville. These improvements benefit not only anglers, but the local communities that benefit from the business from anglers. Please support the efforts of these organizations, especially the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance and Friends of Reservoirs (friendsofreservoirs.com), to make Lake Shelbyville a better place to fish, both for tomorrow and for future generations! Check the LSFHA and these other organizations out on Facebook!
CHECK THEM OUT ON FACEBOOK: