Largemouth Bass Reef Project Seeks Volunteers

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and National Harbor have formed a taskforce to construct and place 80 small concrete reef balls in Smoots Bay in the Potomac River to help improve the fishery.

“The submerged grasses in this largemouth bass nursery have virtually disappeared over the past decade and the spawning success of these fish has consequently declined,” Tidal Bass Program Manager Joseph Love, PhD. said. “These reef balls will provide important protective habitat for juvenile fish.”

The taskforce is seeking volunteers for any of the three reef building days at National Harbor: Sept. 16, 17 and 18.

The work will involve mixing and pouring concrete into simple fiberglas molds, the “hatching” of the balls after the concrete has cured, and a general cleanup. This is a hands-on event suitable for anyone over the age of 16. Lunch and water will be provided.

The Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc., Fish America Foundation, Pro-Formance Fishing, and the Maryland Bass Nation are supporting partners in this project.