Old Hickory Fish Habitat Project
- Phillip Parsley
Interest in reservoir fish habitat improvement methods and evaluation has increased in recent years. Organizations like Bass Pro Shops and Friends of Reservoirs have made grant funding available to help financially support these projects and to bring awareness to their importance. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was recently awarded such a grant to help fund a wide scale fish habitat improvement project on Old Hickory Reservoir, located close to Nashville, TN. The project joined together funding from the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Agency and Bass Pro Shops to create 31 new fish habitat sites over a 7 mile stretch of the reservoir. Specifically, 10 sites received 20 "spiders" and 20 "jacks" each and will receive a special Bill Dance Fishing Trail buoy, 10 sites received three experimental structures each called "Tennessee Towers", and 11 sites received 100-150 tons of large (2-4' diameter) rock. Because of depth restrictions, most structures will be evaluated using down imaging sonar, hook and line sampling, and angler reports. Project costs, methods, lessons learned, and early evaluation information will be discussed.