HBAA partners with KBN for habitat project on Lake Wilson

LAKE WILSON, KS (Feb. 17, 202) — Members of Hays Bass Anglers Association partnered with members of Kansas Bass Nation to improve fish habitat on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Lake Wilson. About a dozen volunteers assisted staff and fisheries biologists with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism in the project to pour concrete anchors and build artificial trees of a new design made from a PVC-like material. “Natural habitat in many of our older western Kansas reservoirs is deteriorating and these structures we are building here today will help replace the habitat that is crucial for adult fish to use as ambush structure and for young fish to utilize for escape cover,” said Clayton Rudman, HBAA’s conservation chairman. The group built more than a dozen of the new artificial tree designs and poured hundreds of concrete anchors used to sink habitat materials into place.


HBAA teams with KDWP for habitat project

HAYS, KS (Dec. 12, 2019) — Members of the Hays Bass Anglers Association assisted with a request to make components for an upcoming fisheries habitat project as they made anchor handles on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. KDWP&T often has a need for these pieces that are used to make weights to sink fish habitat like brush and trees. The club made it part of their annual conservation promise to participate in needed fish habitat projects in the northwest Kansas region where the club is based. The project helped fulfill an upcoming need for these handles for a project being coordinated by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. While the handles are earmarked for an upcoming fisheries habitat project at Scott State Fishing Lake, the handles may be used for other projects as well. In the picture above, HBAA members Clayton Rudman, left, Darrel VonFeldt, second from left, Klint VonFeldt, second from right and Keith Harmoney, right, show some of the anchor handles they made. Habitat improvement for all species of fish, including bass, is a coordinated state-wide effort in Kansas.

HBAA begins environmental campaign “Pitch It”

Did you know that because of litter, there have been environmentalists and politicians who have tried to ban the sale and use of soft plastic lures? Can you imagine not being able to fish with some of your favorite baits?

That threat nearly became a harsh reality. A ban in just one state could lead to a domino effect across the country – from lake to lake, and state to state.

The Hays Bass Anglers Association encourage you to take the pledge to “Pitch It”.  To find our more information please go to and click on the conservation tab for more information.  Also be sure to follow Hays Bass Anglers on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on all youth and conservation projects of the Hays Bass Anglers Association.

If you see the recycle sign (like the one pictured at right), know it is a location where you can safely discard your soft plastics in an environmentally friendly way. Your efforts are a vital part to help Keep America Fishing.

Hays Bass Anglers Association’s Mike Stacey, with the help of his son, Cameron, tosses a Georgia cube into the water on March 7, 2015, at Lake Wilson. Wilson is one of the first lakes in Kansas to deploy the new fish habitat structures. Bass fishing clubs from the Kansas Bass Nation were asked to help participate in building and sinking the habitat cubes in Kansas lakes that were willing to accept the habitat program. (Photo by Steven Hausler, HBAA president) 

Bass clubs improve habitat in Lake Wilson

Lake Wilson (March 7, 2015) — Members of the Hays Bass Anglers Association teamed up with the Salina Bassmasters on Saturday, March 7, 2015, to work on a habitat project at Lake Wilson, one of the first lakes in Kansas to receive a new type of habitat structure called the Georgia cube. The Georgia cube is constructed of a combination of PVC pipe and corrugated pipe measuring four feet long, four feet wide and standing three feet tall. The bottom of the cubes are filled with rock, sand or concrete allowing them to sink slowly into place in an upright position. These fish habitat structures were originallyLewsPoint designed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The project, earmarked for Kansas lakes, relies on the cooperation of bass fishing clubs from the Kansas Bass Nation, to help build and sink the structures. The first deployment of these structures was coordinated by Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism’s Scott Waters, a regional fisheries biologist for Lake Wilson. About 20 volunteers from the Hays and Salina bass fishing clubs assembled and sank 30 cubes in a coordinated effort on Lake Wilson. The structures were set together in groups of three to five pods around the lake and marked with GPS coordinates. “Our clubs are excited to work with fisheries biologists for this project that really targets habitat for black bass in Kansas lakes,” said Nate Brown, habitat committee co-chairman for the Hays bass club. “The overall target depth and placement of the habitat cubes was the most exciting aspect of the project for us directly benefitting largemouth and smallmouth bass,” Brown added. KDWP&T adopted the new habitat structures this year purchasing materials for 150 cubes, with plans to continue the program each year. Bass clubs across Kansas had the opportunity to reserve cube materials if the clubs would agree to assemble and deploy the cubes in local bodies of water that accept them into their fisheries habitat plans. In addition to the habitat cubes, one of the more expansive shallow water habitat projects coordinated by the Hays bass club continued throughout the weekend at Lake Wilson. The Hays club planned and coordinated shallow water habitat improvements using cedar trees in Duval Cove, Elm Creek, and Lew’s Point, seen in the inset picture above.

HBAA builds shallow-water habitat at Wilson

Lake Wilson (Feb. 20, 2015) – Member of the Hays Bass Anglers Association began working on a club habitat project on Feb. 20, 2015, in Duvall Cove at Lake Wilson. WorkingWilsonHabitat3 with fisheries biologist Scott Waters with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, the abundance of non-native cedar trees in the area were utilized for the project. The cedars were cut and drug to the shoreline to help provide shallow water habitat for black bass and other species. Lake levels at Wilson have been on the decline due to drought conditions exposing the shoreline and limiting escape cover for young-of-the-year bass. HBAA’s conservation committee, led by Darrel VonFeldt and Nate Brown, organized the work day for the late-winter project in Duvall Cove. Other habitat projects are scheduled in early March to continue working on shoreline cover and mid-depth fish attractors at Lake Wilson. Pictured at right: Klint VonFeldt, drags a weighted cedar tree to the edge of a drop as he helps with HBAA’s habitat project on Feb. 20, in Duvall Cove on Lake Wilson.

Bob Hoffman, habitat chariman with the Hays Bass Anglers Association, left, looks over a pile of trees as volunteers with HBAA assist fisheries biologists with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks on March 10, 2012 with a shallow water habitat project at Waconda Lake located in north-central Kansas. Volunteers placed 350 cedar trees in the lake in isolated locations.   (Photo by Dave Heffel)

HBAA members assist in habitat projects

SHERIDAN STATE FISHING LAKE, Kan., (Feb 18, 2012) — Members of the Hays Bass Anglers Association assisted fisheries biologists with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism as they made more than 300 concrete anchors for a habitat project Saturday at Sheridan State Fishing Lake, located east of Hoxie.  It was the second stage of the project that the Hays club was involved in. In the first stage of the project, club members made 456 anchor handles and transported them to the lake for the Saturday’s work day. Volunteers from the club helped make the anchors using concrete and twisted wire. The specialized weights will be used for habitat improvements on site.

Shallow water habitat project was club’s third project in 2012

WACONDA LAKE, Kan., (March 10, 2012) — HBAA members worked with fisheries biologist Scott Waters of KDWP&T at Waconda Lake on March 10th placing more than 350 cedar trees in isolated locations in a shallow-water cove. The brush piles were placed in locations to help attract bass, crappie and bluegill. The shallow water project was designed to aid in post-spawn survival of all species of gamefish and their young. HBAA members were excited about the project which helps aid in the survival of young-of-the-year bass.

Ongoing habitat projects — Members of the Hays Bass Anglers Association work regularly with fisheries biologists from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks as they help create fish habitat at reservoirs across Northwest Kansas. The club members volunteer their labor to help with these conservation projects as they come up. One of several conservation projects the club is taking on in 2012 is the manufacturing of bulk anchors. These anchors will be utilized by fisheries biologists across the region to sink habitat in reservoirs that need improvements.

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