SHELL KNOB, Mo. – Increasing fishing opportunity is a great way to spread messages about wise sportfish conservation. That's the philosophy behind a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant program that Campbell Point Marina is utilizing.
On Feb. 2, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff presented a $100,000 check to Gene Stimble of Stimble Enterprises for improvements that have been made at Campbell Point Marina, which is in Stone County on the western part of Table Rock Lake. The check is for construction completed by Campbell Point Marina, in partnership with MariCorp U.S., which meets the requirements of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.
The primary requirements of this program are to construct, renovate and maintain boating infrastructure tie-up facilities for vessels 26 feet or more in length. This grant program is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sport Fish Restoration Program.
So what does providing tie-up facilities to large boats have to do with fish restoration? Quite a bit, actually. One of the things this will do is increase fishing access to this part of the lake to a wider range of anglers. Through this enhanced accessibility, a message of wise fisheries conservation can reach a larger part of the population.
Along with increasing angler satisfaction, these types of projects can also benefit a reservoir's water quality. Many larger vessels have their own toilet and trash facilities. Providing dock facilities where these larger boats can tie up and properly dispose of waste materials reduces the chance that they'll be disposed of on the lake.
"The next time you see a Sport Fish Restoration logo on a piece of fishing gear you buy, know that you are supporting projects that increase opportunities to boat and catch sport fish right in your backyard," said MDC Fisheries Program Supervisor Laura Ruman.
For more on fishing in Missouri, go to mdc.mo.gov/fishing.