The Llano River was recently named one of the “Top Ten Waters to Watch” for 2011. This ranking will be discussed and celebrated at June 25th meeting of the South Llano Watershed Alliance. The meeting will begin at 10 AM at the Texas Tech Junction pavilion and be followed by a free, catered BBQ lunch. Last March, the Alliance partnered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on the Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative. To date, this initiative has assembled more than $1.4 million in grants and donations from sponsors, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Anheuser-Busch Corporation. The Guadalupe Bass is the State Fish of Texas. However, their numbers have declined in recent years, partly due to changes in habitat and hybridization with introduced Smallmouth Bass.Part of the focus of the initiative is to protect and restore Guadalupe bass by developing a network of willing landowners interested in coordinated conservation efforts through stream bank restoration, reestablishment of native plants, and redesign of road crossings that are barriers to fish passage. More than $300,000 is available to landowners in the North and South Llano and James River watersheds to help fund these efforts.“This type of effort is a perfect fit for the mission of the South Llano Watershed Alliance”, notes Walter Curry, Alliance President. “We focus on preserving and enhancing the watershed through collaboration, education, and community participation. This is a great opportunity for the entire community.”This great opportunity has not gone unnoticed at a national scale. The National Fish Habitat Action Plan recently recognized the Llano as a “River to Watch” because it provides a model for voluntary habitat conservation efforts. The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is comprised of more than 1,700 organizations working to conserve aquatic habitat.The meeting on the 25th will discuss the role the Alliance is playing in furthering voluntary landowner participation in the Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative. Special guest, Bill Neiman, who recently gave a presentation on the ecological treasures of the Texas Hill Country, will give his insights on the Alliance and its role in preserving these treasures.All members and persons interested in the Alliance and the Guadalupe Bass Initiative are welcome to attend the meeting. Gene and Donnie Coleman will cater the free BBQ lunch. For more information and to reserve a place and a plate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Alliance website, www.southllano.org.