GALLERY: First Minn Kota habitat restoration project of 2024 focuses on bass recovery zones on Sam Rayburn - Major League Fishing
GALLERY: First Minn Kota habitat restoration project of 2024 focuses on bass recovery zones on Sam Rayburn
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GALLERY: First Minn Kota habitat restoration project of 2024 focuses on bass recovery zones on Sam Rayburn

Kubota Tractor Corporation, MossBack Fish Habitat lend a hand in boosting health of released bass
Image for GALLERY: First Minn Kota habitat restoration project of 2024 focuses on bass recovery zones on Sam Rayburn
Greg Vinson, Brent Chapman and Kyle Cortiana pitched in with the latest habitat project.
February 4, 2024 • Steven Bardin • Bass Pro Tour

As the Bass Pro Tour season began with B&W Trailer Hitches Stage One Presented by Power-Pole on Toledo Bend on Jan. 30, Group B anglers Greg Vinson and Brent Chapman joined Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists and Tackle Warehouse Invitationals angler Kyle Cortiana to complete the first MLF Fisheries Management Division Minn Kota habitat restoration project of 2024 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The project was supported by Kubota Tractor Corporation and featured MossBack Artificial Habitat. 

The volunteers constructed eight 60-inch Conservation Cubes, a dozen 60-inch Safe Haven XL’s, and four John Godwin Crappie Towers. They were deployed in four areas using TPWD’s state-of-the-art habitat barge to create bass recovery zones. Hammer Equipment of Jasper, Texas, supplied a B3350HSD Kubota tractor to aid the volunteers in loading the habitat onto the barge, while Lowe’s Home Improvement of Jasper (Store #1769) provided cinder blocks to weigh down each of the MossBack Habitats. 

Sam Rayburn is one of the world’s most popular bass fisheries. It has been estimated that there are more than 200 tournaments on the reservoir each year — something like one tournament every four days. A high percentage of these tournaments take off from Umphrey Family Pavilion and boat ramps near the dam. Such tournaments result in fish being released from one of the two floating docks or just inside the island from a live release boat. These fish will likely stay within a couple of miles of their release site for a full year. The bass recovery zones created during the Minn Kota project will provide these fish with an immediate place to recover and feed. 

Sam Rayburn and Umphrey Park will be home to the first stop of the 2024 Tackle Warehouse Invitationals starting Feb. 9. Thanks to the work of Minn Kota, Kubota, TPWD and our MLF angler volunteers we will immediately get to see the habitat in use. This project was a great way to immediately improve Sam Rayburn Reservoir and highlight how important the fishing community is to Minn Kota, Kubota, MossBack Fish Habitat, Lowe’s, and Major League Fishing. 

Throughout 2024, Minn Kota and the Major League Fishing Fisheries Management Division will continue to improve habitat on fisheries using the bass recovery zone near popular tournament destinations.