Thursday, June 28, 2012

Partners continue to "Renew Our Rivers" on Smith Lake in Winston County

Twenty-nine individuals joined forces at Houston Recreation Area this week to continue the "Renew Our Rivers" effort to clean-up Alabama's waterways.  Staff and volunteers from Alabama Power Company, Bankhead National Forest, and Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc removed litter from sloughs on Smith Lake as part of Renew Our Rivers.  Three barges and a bass boat worked together to fill two construction dumpsters full of bottles, cans, noodles, rafts, fishing tackle, propane bottles, grills, and small chunks of foam floating in and along the shoreline.  Special recognition goes to Hyche LLC of Addison for donating the dumpsters and removing the litter.

The partnership to clean up Smith Lake in Winston County began in 2006 with Alabama Power Company, Bankhead National Forest, Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy, Inc and the Winston County Commission.  Since that time, an estimated 672 tons of trash have been removed from Smith Lake in Winston County by the partner organizations.   Renew Our Rivers is the southeast's largest organized river clean-up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Burnett Quail Farm Tour

Raymond Burnett details the operation of this quail egg incubator.
Thanks to Raymond Burnett for taking time to give us a tour of his Quail Farm near Addison.

Here's few photos from the tour.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Black Warrior River Basin State of the Watershed Conference Announced

August 1, 2012
Registration - 8:30am 8:55am
Conference 9:00am- 4:45pm

3100 Yacht Club Way NE
Tuscaloosa, AL  35406

Please make plans to attend the first State of the Watershed Conference for the Black Warrior River Basin.  A full day of information about the Black Warrior River will include:
  • Recently completed or on-going studies
  • Completed or on-going, on-the-ground projects
  • Special places, AND
  • Water Policy in Alabama
 Registration fee is $20 per person to cover lunch costs.  On-line registration is available at  (See Upcoming Events on the right side of the web page.)  A draft agenda is attached for your consideration.
Westervelt Ecological Services LLC 
If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Kellie Johnston, Black Warrior CWP Facilitator at (205) 623-0147 (email:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June Council Meeting and Tour of Burnett Quail Farm

The Council's next meeting will be a field trip to Raymond Burnett's Quail Farm, on Thursday, June 21, near Addison.  James Burnett has worked to set up this field trip.  The informal tour will begin at 9:00 a.m at the farm.  Anyone wishing to carpool to the farm should meet at the U. S. Forest Service office at 8:00 a.m. and we will depart shortly after 8:00.

Invasive Plant Control Program to be held in Decatur

An Invasive Plant Control Program will be held on Saturday, June 16, at the Wheeler National Wildlife Visitor Center in Decatur.  The detailed program available here.


This program has been cancelled as of 6/15/12.

Local Kids "Get Hooked" and "Take Aim" at Annual Fishing Derby

The Bankhead National Forest held the twentieth annual “Kids Fishing Derby” on Saturday, June 9 in celebration of National Get Outdoors Day, Alabama Free Fishing Day and National Fishing and Boating Week. The Forest Service, which hosts the yearly event to help interest young people in wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation, stocked a pond with about 450 pounds of catfish and invited area youngsters to try their luck.  A highlight of this year’s Derby was the National Wild Turkey Federation’s “Jakes Take Aim” Shooting Booth.  All children had the opportunity to practice their marksmanship and received a free membership to the NWTF’s Jakes club.

A total of 65 children (with accompanying adults) from surrounding counties came to the Black Warrior Work Center on the Bankhead National Forest to compete for trophies in three age categories. Contestants fished for approximately 1 ½ hours and the winners in each age group were decided by measuring the longest fish caught by each individual.

The largest fish overall, a 21” catfish, was caught by John Thomas Linley of Haleyville.

In the 5-6 year old age group, Eli Morrill of Athens took the first place trophy with a 18 ¼” catfish.  Maddie Mertens of Houston captured second place.

Blayne Crawford of Danville won the first place trophy in the 7 - 9 year old group.  Andrew Barker of Haleyville won the second place trophy.

In the 10 – 12 year old category, Austin Breedwell of Houston took the first place trophy and Zachary Wright of Double Springs took the second place trophy. 

All first place winners and the winner of the largest fish overall received Lifetime Fishing Licenses which were donated by the Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association.

In addition to the fishing competition, a casting contest was held in which Tanner Garcia of Double Springs won in the 5 – 6 year old division; Blayne Crawford of Danville won in the 7 – 9 year old division; and Gauge Bridges of Haleyville won the 10 – 12 year old division.  All three received a new rod and reel as their prize.  Johsua Dempsey also received a new rod as a prize for catching the albino catfish.
The Derby concluded with drawing for door prizes, awarding of trophies to contest winners and a hotdog lunch.  This year’s event was sponsored by a grant to the Winston County Natural Resources Council from the Winston County Commission, a grant from the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Double Springs Lions Club, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Sipsey Strutters Moulton Chapter and Bankhead Beards and Spurs Winston County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, and the Bankhead National Forest. 

A big “THANK YOU” from Smokey Bear to everyone who continue to help make the Kid’s Fishing Derby a great success.