Here are some pics from TJ(pre adding wood cover next to the beds).
Use of rubber feed tubs was recommended by Dave Willis in his experience with SMB reproduction in KS. Prevents rock from sinking into clay and also helps prevent siltation over time of rendering beds useless thrones of muck [that was my college band's name, btw]. Great idea by Dave - however, dimensions dictated by using tubs as foundation for beds are much smaller than recommended by Cody & West. Rolled the dice and thought siltation protection trumped recommended larger bed size as these tubs had already been used for spawning successfully by Dave in KS once upon a time. Silt kills eggs and buried rock EVERY time. What's a meister to do?
Smaller than recommended dimensions:
Vary your depths to help ensure a spawn:
Here's a bed created following Bill's published instructions via mag...now THIS looks promising!
Here are a couple more. The one with the SMB on the nest has a big wood structure just off camera ( a dock).
Keep in mind that both SMB and LMB (to a lesser degree) are thigmortophic for a reason.
The nest-building urge in males is thigmotrophic. Given a choice, they will build nests that are protected on one or more sides by "things" - logs, rocks, pilings, stumps, ledges, etc. This may provide partial protection from predators and egg robbers, or a break from wind or water current.