Exelon Generation’s Braidwood Station teamed with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and three local bass clubs (American Bass Anglers, Bass PAC and NBAA) to purchase and deploy artificial habitats at Braidwood Lake. Illinois Outdoors TV was there too to video tape the deployment and get interviews with key personnel.
This is the sixth consecutive year the organizations have joined forces to enhance the fishing experience at the lake. I've been there for two. It's a good feeling to be part of such an event. Doing something to make the fishing better at Braidwood for all.
The habitat units are designed toprovide multiple benefits to largemouth bass, a favorite of Midwest fishing enthusiasts, at various stages in their life – from acting as a nursery habitat for young fish to providing feeding sites for larger, older bass.
This will also be the sixth straight year the IDNR will stock the lake with more than60,000 four-inch fingerling largemouth bass.
“Since 2006, annual IDNR stockings have resulted in the addition of more than 370,000 four-inch fingerling largemouth bass toBraidwoodLake,” said IDNR District Fisheries Biologist Rob Miller. “As habitats continue to be added and those previously deployed become seasoned, we’re providing habitat types that are attractive to these fish at various stages of their lives, from fingerlings to adults. The proof is in the increased number of largemouth bass in IDNR surveys and a dramatic improvement in angling success rates.”
Jay O’Connell, a member of Bass PAC (a B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Club), praised the joint effort to improve fishing at the lake. “The efforts of Braidwood Station and the IDNR are making a difference,” O’Connell said. “We are seeing a tremendous increase in keepers (tournament-length fish) over just a few years ago. The results speak for themselves.”
“Thanks go to the American Bass Anglers, Bass PAC, NBAA and the IDNR for helping us carry out an instrumental and innovative environmental project,” said Dan Enright, Braidwood Station site vice president. “Their knowledge of the lake and expertise in the area of bass fishing provides the resources we need to be extremely successful in a project that works so closely with a fragile and delicate ecosystem.”
The habitat project supports Exelon’s popular “Fishing for a Cure” program, which has benefited a number of local charities. In 2012, Fishing for a Cure raised more than $48,000 for four local food pantries benefitting the communities around Braidwood Station.
Braidwood Lake is also the site for one of the IHSA Bass Fishing Sectionals which are held in May of each year. The quality of the fish brought to the weigh-in tell the whole story, that Braidwood is well managed.
Braidwood Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station’s two nuclear energy units can produce a total of more than 2,300 megawatts at full power – enough electricity to power more than 2 million homes.