Lake Norman bass fishermen and other game-fish anglers will soon have another place to drop their lines after the completion of a “rock reef” on the bottom of the lake last month.
The newest rock reef – made of granite boulders obtained from a Denver rock quarry – is located on the northern end of Lake Norman near the mouth of Little Creek in southeastern Catawba County.
This is the sixth rock reef that has been placed in Lake Norman in the past three years, all funded through Duke Energy’s Habitat Enhancement Program. The nonprofit environmental group North Carolina Wildlife Federation oversees the project.
“We’re always kind of looking out for sites for things like this, as well as for our heron and osprey (nesting platform) programs,” said federation executive director Tim Gestwicki.
“We’re trying to stay ahead of the curve, so to speak but with Lake Norman, there’s no end to potential sites. We’re trying to mix it up as far as geographic locations, so they’re not all installed in one area.”
The rock reefs, usually placed in deeper areas of Lake Norman so as not to create a navigational hazard, are seen as a more-permanent solution to the old anglers’ trick of dropping used Christmas trees into the lake to serve as cover for small bait fish, which in turn attract bigger game fish such as largemouth bass, spotted and striped bass and black crappie.
However, over time, the Christmas trees tend to either disintegrate or flatten out on the lake bottom, making them less desirable habitats for bait fish. The trees also tend to move around because of the lake’s bottom currents, which can be quite strong at times.
“Lake Norman is a great fishery, and it brings a lot of anglers to the lake for fishing tournaments and things like that,” Gestwicki said. “It’s quite good for ‘eco-tourism.’ If we can do anything to enhance that, then I’m all for it. I do not see a shortage of potential sites.”
Mark Stanback, a professor of biology at Davidson College, will speak on “Competition between bluebirds and brown-headed nuthatches” at the free nature program held monthly by the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists. The program will be held 7 p.m. April 10 at the Mooresville Public Library, 304 S. Main St. Stanback had originally been scheduled to speak in mid-February, but a winter storm forced LNWC officials to postpone the event. No reservations are required to attend the free program. For information, call Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists education chairman Sid Smith at 704-895-5686 or visit www.lakenormanwildlife.org.
LNSPS boating safety classes
The Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron will hold four more boating safety classes for the public during 2014 at various locations in the Lake Norman area.
Boating safety classes will be held May 3 at the Duke Energy Environmental Center at the McGuire Nuclear Station, N.C. 73, Huntersville; May 31 at Denver Volunteer Fire Department’s main station, 3956 N.C. 16 North, Denver; June 28 at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion St., Cornelius; and July 26 at Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department, 1518 Brawley School Road, Mooresville.
Each class will run 8 a.m.-5 p.m., with a lunch break included. The classes cost $45 per person, which includes lunch and the course manual), and advance registration is required, either online at www.usps.org/lakenorman/courseboatsmart.htm or by contacting Bob Yannacci at 516-547-7737 or email@example.com.
The next meeting of the Lake Norman Marine Commission will be held 7 p.m. April 14 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown 215 N. Main St., Mooresville. The meeting is open to the public. www.lnmc.org.