|Friends of Reservoirs Member/Group Sponsoring the Project
|Anglers For Improving Opportunities
|Project Leader Contact Information
|3910 KY Rt 1750
Kentucky East Point
|Google Maps Location
|Please describe the project objective(s).
Paintsville Lake is an 1100 acre lake in Eastern Kentucky. Paintsville Lake was impounded in 1983 and has provided oudoor recreation since that time to residents and visitors of Johnson County Kentucky. Last year Anglers For Improving Opportunities was formed in conjunction with the Kentucky Team Trail and to assist in improving projects completed by Casting For Kids. We began with a DNA and relative weight sample on our largemouth bass population last April. We conducted samples of 97 fish and used this data to illustrate limiting factors affecting sportfishing opportunities at Paintsville Lake. Our first habitat project started last year, we placed 61 pieces of habitat in Paintsivlle Lake including "Shelbyville cubes", the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife helped build and deploy these structures. Our community has stepped up in a big way supporting these efforts, we have raised about $25,000 locally just this month to support further improvements. The habitat project last year came at a cost of $0 due to donations of labor from high school fishing teams, local bass clubs and local donations from businesses. The timing of our projects could not be better. This month we are attempting to re-establish threadfin shad by stocking 50,000 on April 13th, again these efforts are entirely funded within Johnson county. In the short term our plans are to build clusters of habitat to supplement the new $160,000 Casting For Kids Boardwalk that was recently constructed to allow handicapped kids the ability to fish at water level with rod holders. This fall we will complete another large scale habitat project and that is what this funding would be used for.
|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 habitat restoration began last year after an in depth dive in to the circumstances negatively affecting our lake. After our samples, several experts suggested that the first thing we could do was to supplement habitat, with an aging reservoir much of the habitat has deteriorated and disappeared. We began with a large project last fall placing 61 pieces of habitat in a combination of pallet structures and "shelbyville cubes". This summer our plan is to expand to other types of habitat, for instance the habitat we will place in the next month around the casting boardwalk will need to be weedless and safe for swimmers, we have conducted extensive research in conjunction with our local KDFWR biologist Jason Russell and have settled on a block/corrugated pipe prototype. We will continue to build the pallet/cedar tree structures and we will also continue to construct "Shelbyville Cubes". These structures will supplement natural habitat and each location will be thoroughly researched by the KDFWR to ensure success of the areas. We have also been approved to supplement these sites with hinge cut trees by the Army Corp of Engineers. This plan is elaborate and has taken months to formulate, we begin by getting all entities at a table this January and beginning discussions and approval in this process.
|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?
The KDFWR has requested that we call this endeavor a "partnership" due to their involvement in our progress. Nothing can be done locally without the KDFWR or the USACE approval. Our Johnson County Fiscal Court is also heavily involved supporting these efforts. Our local biologist Jason Russell is absolutely thrilled with this group and our ability to provide logistics and gather donations. Last year we completed a project that usually takes a year for the KDFWR, we turned it around in about 3 months. Our need for habitat was demonstrated by our samples from 2022 and the age of existing habitat, every expert we have spoken to from the KDFWR and Steven Bardin from Major League Fishing begins with habitat improvement as the first step towards improvements. This is a multifaceted plan that is more elaborate than just about any project nationwide. Steven Bardin called our efforts a "blueprint for angler driven stewardship".
|List the species that the project is expected to benefit:
Every species of fish in the lake will benefit from habitat improvement, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear, gizzard and threadfin shad, and walleye that had gone almost nonexistent through electrofishing samples in 2022. Most importantly the next generation of kids will benefit from this work, in Johnson County Kentucky we have some of the best high school bass fishing teams in the state of Kentucky. These kids shouldn't have to travel hours to practice on a lake to improve their skill to compete at the high school fishing level.
|How do you plan to conduct outreach and advertise the project? (Examples: on-site signage, press releases, websites, message boards)
AFIO has an incredible outreach, our outreach dwarfs the FOR page on Facebook. We have twice the followers and probably 10 times the activity, in the last 2 months Facebook Insights show our page reaching over 27,000 accounts. I am an expert at social media marketing, our content is second to none. The outreach of our page despite being in rural eastern Kentucky is amazing. We have documented our work with photos and videos. We also have several experts who frequent our page and provide insights. Often people from across the country will comment and share our posts. As stated previously, Major League Fishing Biologist Steven Bardin called our efforts a "Blueprint for Angler Driven Stewardship" due to the way we have gone about gathering data and information, with this info also being beneficial to anglers in other parts of the country with similar circumstances. I am a high school teacher by trade and have been in the business for 17 years, my personal social media accounts perform as well as most professional fisherman. I have several pieces of content on Instagram and Tiktok with over a million views or impressions. This presence and my experience lifting up kids in a my school district gives me a great influence on youth in the area, specifically high school fishing teams. Many of college anglers come to me for social media advice and tips, others follow my pages for content inspiration. The outreach for our group goes through my pages as well and to be honest is pretty amazing considering our location. Our group has challenged the status quo, asked legitimate questions and has garnered the attention of our state organization, who now requested that we call these efforts a partnership going forward. Many of the issues we tackle on our page like healthy harvest are the result or a recommendation from the state organization or a biologist who has examined our particulars and given sound advice.
|Partnership and Budget
|Does the project involve one or more youth groups?
|Please list all partners involved in the project:
Small Grant Review