Improving Fishing Areas in Keene, New Hampshire

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Creating Fish-Friendly Habitats

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department operates a state fisheries habitat restoration program, using recycled Christmas Trees to make fish-friendly habitats. Some lake bottoms are void of the natural structures that fish like to hide in, says Gabe Gries, a fisheries biologist with the department. Some of that is natural, but property owners also have contributed by removing fallen trees they consider unsightly or clearing vegetation close to the shore to create sandy beaches.

The project, which is paid for with the money raised from fishing licenses, drops the recycled trees into lakes, creating "habitat improvement structures" where fish can hide and find food. During an experiment in a Massachusetts lake, state biologists saw a fivefold increase in the number of fish caught around sunken Christmas trees compared to other places in the lake, according to Todd Richards, a fisheries biologist in the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game.

Christmas Trees are used in lakes and ponds all over the United States to help create natural habitats for fish.