Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
The bass are back and tournament fishermen will be casting for them
By Nancy Allen
Good bass fishing apparently has returned to Grand Lake and so has a major national bass fishing tournament, members of the private Lake Development Corporation (LDC) learned at their meeting Monday.
Brian Miller, assistant manager of Grand Lake St. Marys State Park, said the two-day Wal-Mart BFL Tournament will return to the lake in 2008, after it was dropped this year.
Miller said the tournament will accommodate 150 boats and nearby Indian Lake also will be included in the leg of the tournament. The event made its debut on Grand Lake in 2006.
Local officials said it appeared the tournament was dropped because local officials and organizations could not come up with thousands of dollars in upfront money that tournament organizers requested to stage the event.
LDC member Jim Dabbelt, an avid bass fisherman, said bash fishing on the lake has turned around after a few lackluster years.
"Bass fishing has been really good," Dabbelt said. "Two guys last Thursday at the (Celina) Eagles tourney caught five bass weighing (a combined) 11.10 pounds and last Sunday first place went to five bass weighing 12 pounds ... that's a tremendous bag of fish."
Miller also reported that all water samples taken so far this year at state swimming beaches have come back good. The beaches also have been exceptionally busy this year, he said.
Beach water is tested every other week for E. coli bacteria levels between Memorial Day to Labor Day.
LDC member Donna Grube said the apparent increase in swimmers is likely due to people looking for relief from recent hot weather.
LDC members also discussed the annual Legislative Day on the Lake held June 15 sponsored by the LDC. The main focus of this year's event was to rally support around a watershed action plan submitted to the state on June 21 by the Grand Lake/Wabash Watershed Alliance.
The plan lays out water quality issues in the watershed area and ways to fix the problems. A state-endorsed plan is necessary for the watershed group to apply for grants aimed at putting best management practices on the land that improve water quality. The Grand Lake/Wabash Watershed has been deemed one of the most degraded in the state based on Ohio EPA water quality testing.
Members said they were pleased the event was attended by Sean Logan, newly-appointed director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Dabbelt said he used the event to ask state officials why the state has taken so long to complete engineering in order to spend $450,000 in capital budget money to do riprapping along the lake's shoreline. The funds were approved three years ago.
The next LDC meeting is 4 p.m. Aug. 6 at Wright State University-Lake Campus.