Bass Trail boss leads effort at Smith Lake
by James Phillips
Sep 19, 2012 | 1887 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kay Donaldson, program director for the Alabama Bass Trail, speaks Tuesday to members of the Rotary Club of Jasper. - Photo by: James Phillips.
Kay Donaldson, program director for the Alabama Bass Trail, speaks Tuesday to members of the Rotary Club of Jasper. - Photo by: James Phillips.
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When Lewis Smith Lake was named a stop on the Alabama Bass Trail, area officials were excited about the boost in tourism the designation could provide for Walker County. Kay Donaldson, the trail’s program director, said Tuesday that conservation has also increased on Smith Lake in recent months.

Donaldson, along with a group of high school anglers from around the state, recently visited the Clear Creek area of Smith Lake as a part of a community service project. The teenage anglers helped build cedar tree and bamboo structures that were dropped into certain areas of the lake.

“There is not a lot of structure in Smith Lake,” Donaldson told members of the Rotary Club of Jasper Tuesday. “The lake is very clear, so the structures that we’ve added protects the fish, especially in the heat of summer. They also provided protection from the fish to keep them from being eaten by other fish.”

Donaldson said everything that was put into the lake was environmentally friendly.

“We make every effort that nothing we put into the lake will damage it in any way,” she said.

The conservation effort was taped by Alabama Public Television and will be used in the future on one of its programs, Donaldson said. As a way to help high school anglers, the Alabama Bass Trail provides conservation opportunities and gives grants to high schools who participate. Through private donations, the group gives $500 grants to schools that do 250 hours of work.

“This project was a partnership with Alabama Power,” Donaldson said. “The work we did in four hours, they said would have taken them a day and a half. We want to do our part to improve all the lakes on the trail.”

Linda Lewis, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, said the high school state championship tournament could be at Smith Lake in 2013.

“It’s not official yet, but we’re hearing that Smith Lake will be the host site,” Lewis said. “That is something that I am very excited about. I’m also hopeful we can get more local high schools to put together fishing teams. Cordova has a team, but we’d definitely like to see Walker High and Curry High put together teams. Curry would be a perfect spot, because they are right there at the lake.”

For more information on the Alabama Bass Trail, visit www.alabamabasstrail. org.