The Kansas BASS Nation (KBN) has been working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT) to place artificial fish attractors in local waters in an effort to improve fish habitat and increase angler success. KBN Conservation Director Jesse Jordan and KDWPT Fisheries program specialist David Breth, who oversee the program, set a goal to assemble and place 300 PVC and tubing structures called “Georgia Cubes” in 2015. They not only met that goal, but are currently working towards tripling that number. Three-hundred additional cubes are already on the ground and will be placed in the coming months.
“Local B.A.S.S. clubs have been instrumental in this project, assembling the cubes from kits onsite, and then placing them using their own boats and GPS units,” Breth said. “They’ve been a great help.” In addition to the KBN, KDWPT has also received assistance from The Bass Federation and several local organizations throughout the state.
Not only have their efforts caught the attention of anglers, some of whom have already reported catching largemouth bass near the structures, but they’ve also garnered national recognition from The Berkley Conservation Institute (BCI), of Berkley Fishing. On March 5, Jordan accepted an award from BCI on behalf of KBN and their partnership with KDWPT.
Modeled after a design originally implemented by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the cube-like structures are comprised of a four-foot-by-four-foot-by-three-foot PVC frame. This is woven with more than 50 feet of corrugated pipe, maximizing surface area for the growth of periphyton, a mix of algae, fungi and bacteria, which attracts invertebrates and small fish, which then draw bass and other predator species. Not only are the cubes cost-effective, but they last more than three times longer than natural brush piles; and based on their use in other states, attract as many fish as natural cover without affecting water quality.
Kansas licenses fees and federal funds from the Sport Fish Restoration Program have financed the components used to assemble the cubes, but Breth said that without the help of Kansas B.A.S.S. Nation affiliated clubs, the placement process would be much slower.
To date, cubes have been added to Milford, Wilson, Melvern, Perry, El Dorado, Tuttle Creek, and Horsethief reservoirs; as well as Butler, Clark, Pottawatomie No. 1, Pottawatomie No. 2, and Meade state fishing lakes. They have also been placed in Yates Center’s South Owl and Eureka City lakes. Fisheries field staff will collect sonar and video images on how fish populations and species are using the cubes in relation to natural structures
For information on how to locate these attractors, as well as access locations of natural structures, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Fishing,” then “Where to Fish in Kansas.”