Entry ID2490
Friends of Reservoirs Member/Group Sponsoring the ProjectLake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance
Project Leader Contact InformationChip Christensen
Phone(217) 728-2610
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Address1068 CR 1025 N
Sullivan, Illinois 61951
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Project Information
Reservoir NameLake Shelbyville
Google Maps Locationgoogle.com
Please describe the project objective(s).

At just over 50 years old, the woody structure in Lake Shelbyville has deteriorated drastically due to age and ice damage. Coupling this with water level changes of up to 24 feet in a season and maintaining quality fish habitat has been difficult! In an effort to combat this the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance (LSFHA) was formed in 2017. The main objective of the LSFHA is to address the lack of habitat on Lake Shelbyville. Artificial fish habitats, such as Mossback’s Deep Water Bundle, Reef Kits, and Spawning Bed products provide places for fish to lay their eggs, hide from predators, and safely forage. These structures provide a diverse habitat for many species of fish and in turn, provide a greater density of sport fish and other preferable species which will provide a better experience for anglers and ecotourists on the reservoir.

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?

A combination of shallow and deep water products will be used in conjunction with existing habitat restoration efforts on Lake Shelbyville. The existing habitat restoration efforts include adding biological and man-made structural habitat to aid in improving water quality and
combat erosion problems. These habitat types consist of artificial structures made from PVC (Georgia and Shelbyville cubes), recycled Christmas trees, rip rap (RR4) offshore breakwaters and reefs, and artificial stumps. As previously mentioned, the Mossback products will be used as additional habitat structures to supplement the ongoing habitat improvements for desired sport fish species in the reservoir.

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?

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Fisheries led by fisheries biologist Jim Garavaglia will be directly involved with the planning, site selection, and installation of the structures.

List the species that the project is expected to benefit:

The following species are expected to benefit from the installment of the various shallow and deep-water Mossback structures. The species are listed in order of priority: Largemouth bass (including all life stages), white crappie, black crappie, bluegill, muskellunge, walleye, sauger, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass, yellow bass, freshwater drum, gizzard shad, epiphytic insect larvae, invertebrates, zooplankton, and phytoplankton. While primarily aimed at fish, there are secondary species that are also anticipated to benefit: waterfowl, shorebirds, an assortment of terrestrial mammals, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, and insects. The Illinois Natural History Survey currently has a multi-year study in progress to evaluate all of the structure the LSFHA has placed into the lake to date. This sampling will continue for the foreseeable future. This sampling has allowed the fisheries biologist along with the LSFHA Habitat Placement Committee to pick locations for the structure that are most beneficial to the species mentioned above. To date the results are encouraging!

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

The intended audience for this project are anglers, ecotourists, and other individuals who frequent the reservoir. To advertise this project, the Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance has a Facebook page as well as a monthly newsletter that provides updates to the public. Using these methods, the public will be kept informed on all of the great habitat work and partnerships involved in making Lake Shelbyville fishing the best that it can be! In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Chip’s Marine, and Friends of Lake Shelbyville all have Facebook pages that will be utilized to provide frequent news and updates on the project.

Upload at least one letter of support from a representative of the state fish and wildlife management agency:Letter-of-Support-FY23-RFHP-Mossback-Grant-1.docx
Partnership and Budget
Does the project involve one or more youth groups?Yes
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