GALLERY: Bass Pro Tour pros, high-school anglers help complete habitat project on Lake Eufaula - Major League Fishing
GALLERY: Bass Pro Tour pros, high-school anglers help complete habitat project on Lake Eufaula
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GALLERY: Bass Pro Tour pros, high-school anglers help complete habitat project on Lake Eufaula

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May 3, 2024 • Steven Bardin • Fisheries Management Division

EUFAULA, Okla. – The MLF Fisheries Management Division (FMD) partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) to complete a Minn Kota Habitat Restoration Project supported by Humminbird on Lake Eufaula during Millertech Stage Four presented by REDCON1.

Bass Pro Tour anglers Josh Bertrand, Stephen Browning, Ott DeFoe, Edwin Evers, Gary Klein, John Murray, Britt Myers, Micheal Neal, Skeet Reese, Colby Schrumpf and Greg Vinson joined the Oologah-Talala High School fishing team, ODWC, Choctaw Nation Wildlife Conservation, MossBack Fish Habitat founder David King and MLF FMD Director Steven Bardin to construct MossBack products including 60-inch Conservation Cubes, Safe Haven XL, and John Godwin Crappie Towers. These structures were weighted down using supplies donated by Lowes Home Improvement store #2571.

Being group Bs off day, the reservoir was off limits for the BPT angler volunteers, so the ODWC staff and Oolagah High students deployed the structure in groups throughout Eufaula Cove to create Bass Recovery Zones. 

Eufaula Cove is an extremely important part of the 105,000-acre fishery because of the number of tournaments hosted out of the cove’s marinas. After every one of these tournaments, fish are released back into the cove, making habitat designed to improve post-release recovery a valuable resource.

The project is part of a four-year, large-scale habitat restoration program for Eufaula lake by ODWC that begins this year. ODWC will be receiving an annual donation from the City of Eufaula; using federal matching programs, these donations will be multiplied times three. The Minn Kota, Humminbird, and MLF donation of MossBack habitat will hopefully be treated the same way, raising the potential value of the four-year project to over $150,000 for ODWC. 

“ODWC’s commitment to our fisheries is unmatched and getting to experience this project with the high school team is an extremely valuable opportunity” Evers said just before loading the students on the bus to buy them lunch. 

The MLF FMD hopes to continue to use this blueprint of creating Bass Recovery Zones outside of high-use marinas and using state partnership with matching grants to make our positive impact on the communities we visit greater.