Entry ID197
Friends of Reservoirs Member/Group Sponsoring the ProjectClaytor Lake Extension
Project Leader Contact InformationIsaac Jones
Phone(540) 558-8586
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Address5350 Jewell Dr.
Shawsville, Virginia 24162
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Project Information
Reservoir NameClaytor Lake
Google Maps Locationg.co
Please describe the project objective(s).

Claytor Lake Extension (160 members) is a large group of anglers who live, work and play in the area surrounding Claytor Lake. In 2011, triploid grass carp were stocked by the county in order to eliminate hydrilla that had washed in from the New River (which flows through Claytor Lake). As the fish habitat diminished, fishing became very difficult. Since then efforts by homeowners and the VDGIF to plant water willow and mossback fish habitats have been somewhat successful but lack of fishing 'hotspots' have somewhat curbed success. Our goal as Claytor Lake Extension, is to continue to work with the above referenced agencies and non-profits to surgically place these habitats in areas fish will use pre/post spawn as well as provide deep water habitat in harsh oxygen months due to lack of dissolved oxygen in the reservoir. Claytor Lake Extension is currently working with a research scientist at Virginia Tech to restore native eel grass vegetation to the lake that was decimated when hydrilla took over in the early 2000's. To date, we have planted over 30 mature eel grass plants as well as re-stocked our greenhouses in preparation for the future. It is not completely certain whether or not the eel grass will survive but in the meantime we have began fund raising efforts to place permanent structure in hopes that the combination will elevate the reservoir to past glory.

Please describe the project methods. Will the product be used in conjunction with existing habitat restoration efforts on the reservoir? Will the product supplement natural brush, rock, or other materials being added to the reservoir?

Our method for building and planting structure will be a joint effort between our group, VDGIF and FOCL. We will identify deep water (15-20 Ft.) areas off break lines and points to provide optimal ambush areas for black bass and other game species to help improve catch rates on Claytor Lake. All previously planted structure has been mapped and is available on a printout at the state park located inside Claytor Lake facilities. Once Claytor Lake Extension plants mossback habitats, all of the planting coordinates will be shown on the next revision available to all public anglers.
As stated above we plan to continue working with Virginia Tech and Sara Sweeten to cultivate and restore native vegetation to Claytor Lake. We will also continue working with Friends of Claytor Lake (homeowners group) to take part in 'Christmas for the fishes', where Christmas trees are sank in various places around the lake to provide shallow water cover to bass fry and crappie.

Will state fish and wildlife agency staff be directly involved in the project? How so (planning, site selection, participation in installation)? Is there an associated lake or habitat management plan that states the need for structural habitat enhancement?

As one of the founding members of Claytor Lake Extension, I have worked closely with John Copeland, our regional fisheries biologist and VDGIF representative for Claytor Lake. John is extremely supportive of all efforts to improve catch rates on Claytor Lake and has volunteered time, manpower, equipment and expertise to everything we've been a part of on our reservoir. Christmas for the fishes, mossback fish habitat plantings, eel grass restorations, have all been under the watchful eye of Mr. Copeland and he is very excited to help us fisherman find the optimal locations for these mossback habitats.

List the species that the project is expected to benefit:

Claytor lake has several active game species that will all benefit from adding mossback fish structure to our reservoir. Yellow perch, bluegill, gizzard shad, as well as game species like flatheads and black bass (smallmouth, Kentucky and largemouth) will all use the structures for protection as well as ambush points to feed from.

How do you plan to conduct outreach and advertise the project? (Examples: on-site signage, press releases, websites, message boards)

The plantings will be visually printed on a map located inside of all Claytor Lake State Park facilities as well as made known on three separate Facebook groups pertaining to Claytor Lake. Claytor Lake is located just of I-81 in Dublin, Virginia and sees several thousand anglers each year. Making a handheld, visual representation of all of our hard work will ensure all anglers take part in this tremendous feature on our lake.

Upload at least one letter of support from a representative of the state fish and wildlife management agency:VDGIF-Claytor-Lake-Extension-Mossback-FOR-grant-application-June-18-2019.pdf
Partnership and Budget
Does the project involve one or more youth groups?Yes
Please list all partners involved in the project:
Partner Name Type of Partner Cash Contribution In-Kind Contribution In-Kind Value
Bass Fishing Team at Virginia Tech College Bass Fishing Team Equipment and Labor 18/hr x 5 x 8/hrs
FOCL Friends of Claytor Lake 2000 Equipment and Labor 18/hr x 5 x 8/hrs
Virginia Tech Research Scientists Scientist Equipment and Labor 18/hr x 5 x 8/hrs
VDGIF State Fisheries biologists Equipment and Labor 18/hr x 5 x 8/hrs