(Nov. 19, 2012 - PINSON, AL.)...
The Freshwater Land Trust teamed up with B.A.S.S. employee Wednesday for a volunteer workday to restore critical habitat for the endangered vermilion darter and watercress darter. The volunteers worked at Tapawingo Springs Preserve in Pinson to remove invasive species and replant native shrubs along the wetland area.
According to Wendy Jackson, executive director of Freshwater Land Trust, "Today is a remarkable day for conservation. Anglers are some of the best conservationist, and we are so proud of the B.A.S.S. workday. The spring run is home to three species of endangered darters, two of which are found only in Jefferson County. The spawning site for the vermilion darter is only a few hundred yards downstream of where we were working today. This workday with B.A.S.S. allows us to restore a native forested buffer that is critical to protecting the darters’ habitat."
Both the watercress and vermilion darters are endemic to Jefferson County, Ala. The vermilion darter’s habitat is limited to only a six-mile segment of Turkey Creek.
"This is an important workday for B.A.S.S. employees," said Noreen Clough, conservation director at B.A.S.S. "It’s a chance to get outdoors and practice what we preach - that clean water and healthy habitats are good not only for the fish but for the soul. Getting our hands dirty and feet wet are all part of understanding how ecosystems work and how something as small and lovely as a darter can inspire us."
Recognizing the importance of Tapawingo Springs to the darters, the FWLT has worked to acquire and formally protect the properties encompassing the springs and to restore areas previously impacted by development.
For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications - Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times - comprehensive Bassmaster website and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series,Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.