Every April, members of the Boy Scouts of America Four Rivers District of the Lincoln Heritage Council verge upon the north end of Land Between the Lakes to clean a portion of the shoreline of Kentucky Lake. This weekend project is known as Conservation Camp, done in partnership with the Friends of LBL.

Due to COVID, though, the plans had to change for 2021.

Rather than totally forgo the weekend, the district decided this year to clean up their own turf — the shoreline of Camp Roy C. Manchester on the Pfeffer Scout Reservation near Fairdealing. In addition to cleaning up the camp, the troops also assisted Kentucky Fish & Wildlife in creating 50 fish attractors to help improve the bass population in Kentucky Lake.

The project with Fish and Wildlife was organized by Grayson Lightfoot, current Senior Patrol Leader for BSA Troop 484 in Benton. He is currently working towards earning the BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award, which includes the planning, leading and carrying out of at least two significant service projects in two different conservation categories.

“The bass population is dying off. So that could be a problem for a lot of fishing tournaments,” Grayson said. Which in turn affects tourism in Marshall County.

The Fish & Wildlife Department provided all materials, and Lightfoot coordinated the manpower part. “I contacted FIsh & Wildlife, and it was all timing and everything because this was the week they were doing it so they brought the materials, the supplies, and I met with them at Roy C. Manchester during Conservation Camp and I hosted the project,” said Lightfoot.

Eight troops were on hand to help with the fish attractors. Fish attractors help with covering the spawn of bass, and when placed in groups schools of fish become attracted to them. The attractors are made with concrete cinder blocks and gas pipes. Cement is poured in both holes of the cinder block and then two gas pipes are placed in each hole. When finished the attractors look similar to an anemone.

In the next few weeks the attractors will be loaded onto a pontoon boat and dropped in the lake in three to five foot water.

While the troops were working on the conservation project the Cub Scout Packs were learning about conservation and recycling as well. After picking up litter, scouts repurposed some of the material and created boats for a Raingutter Regata. The regatta is a racing event for cub scouts that is the sailboat equivalent of the pinewood derby.

“This activity taught me a lot about leadership, getting to work with a bigger, larger troop,” Lightfoot said. “I thank all the people that helped me.”