Alabama Power and a team of project partners cut the ribbon on a new public-use pavilion and fish weigh station at Beeswax Landing on Lay Lake during the Nov. 1 Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School Classic.
B.A.S.S., the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and Shelby County teamed with Alabama Power to design and build the 20-by-40-foot pavilion. It features live wells and water access, which help reduce stress on fish and increase release survival rates during tournament weigh-ins. The pavilion also provides shade during daylong events.
“This facility is a strong example of community collaboration, through public and private partners, to make a lasting impact on our state’s natural resources,” said Matt Bowden, Alabama Power’s vice president of Environmental Affairs. “We are proud to be a part of this effort.”
More than 200 high school and junior-level anglers from across the state fished in the Alabama Classic, with two advancing to the 2015 Bassmaster High School National Championship.
“This project began as a discussion about improving the quality of fishing we already enjoy in Alabama through a conservation partnership,” said Eddie Plemons, president of Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation. “A weigh station was a natural fit — providing facilities to the public that protect fish at the same time.”
Randy Howell, the 2014 Bassmaster Classic winner, was tournament weighmaster at the Lay Lake event.
“We are always interested in new opportunities to improve the experience of visitors to Lay Lake and Shelby County,” said Chad Scroggins, manager of the Shelby County Department of Development Services. “We are excited about the opportunities this weigh station and other improvements are bringing to Beeswax Landing.”
The weigh-in pavilion is the latest of several recent improvements to Beeswax Landing. Since August 2013, ADCNR has completed a number of renovations to the park, which the county manages. Boat ramp capacity at Beeswax has doubled with the installation of a four-lane ramp, and new sidewalks and parking comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, a pier was replaced and the parking lot was resurfaced.