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DVIDS – News – Allatoona Christmas Tree program helps fish and the environment

DVIDS – News – Allatoona Christmas Tree program helps fish and the environment

DVIDS - News - Tulsa District programs work together for the good of the environment

MOBILE, Ala. Bait plays an important role in fishing. A successful fisherman must find the right bait or lure to attract the fish and entice it to bite. Voila! You have a caught fish.

However, fish cannot be caught unless there is a healthy and plentiful population.

This is where the Allatoona Lake Christmas Tree Recycling Program comes in.

Since 2005, Allatoona Lake Rangers and Volunteers, as well as partners with Georgia Departments of Natural Resources Wildlife Division, the Marietta Bassmasters and Keep Bartow Beautiful, have been placing recycled Christmas Trees into Allatoona Lake. This is to provide a habitat for the fish and to improve the ecosystem of the lake.

Chris Purvis, Allatoona Lake’s Lead Ranger, stated that each year after Christmas, we ask the public for live trees to be donated and dropped off at various drop points at the office or other drop points throughout the county. These trees create a habitat for fish and provide better fishing opportunities down the road. The program has been very successful.

The trees are placed in the Lake when the water level is 17 feet below normal. Once the trees have been received by Allatoona Lake a hole is made in the base of each tree. The trees are then placed on a concrete foundation and tied together using wire.

Each year, a different area is chosen to plant the trees. This ensures that each area of Lake is constantly being replenished with fish habitat.

These trees will be under water once the lake reaches the summer pool level.

Dan Pingel from Allatoona Lake Ranger stated that it was satisfying to be a part the project.

Pingel said that the lake was a part of my childhood, and it’s gratifying to be able give back something that has an impact on the lake. We have a great partnership all the agencies that support us in this project. This is a great partnership that helps wildlife succeed. It’s also very satisfying to be able to give back the habitat.

Bamboo fish attractors are another way Allatoona Lake can recycle Christmas Trees. Jimmy Moore, an Allatoona Lake volunteer builds the attractors. Moore creates a bamboo pyramid. The trees are then placed in the pyramid and the base is attached to it. Concrete cinder blocks are placed on the sides to ensure that the pyramids with the trees sink down to the bottom. This allows trees to be planted in deeper areas of the lake and provides fish habitat.

Moore stated that fish attractors enable smaller fish to get in and protect them from larger fish. This allows them to grow. These attractors don’t deteriorate which is important for the lake. These attractors have been in my possession for six years. We have never had any problems with them. It has allowed the lake’s fish population to grow and improved the habitat.

Jim Hakala, Region Fisheries Supervisor at the Georgia DNR, is one partner who was pleased with the project and the partnership with USACE Allatoona Lake.

Hakala claimed that the project has significantly improved fishing at the lake.

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Purvis says it’s been gratifying to watch the program grow and to see the strengthening of USACEs partnership and local agencies. It has also improved Allatoona Lake.

Purvis said that because of the program’s growth over the years, we have been able to plant thousands of trees. In fact, we are currently installing over 200 trees. It has strengthened our partnership; it has made the lake more fishable and has also improved fishing. It has increased the number of visitors to our lake, and has also improved the ecosystem.

Date Taken: 01.25.2022
Date Posted 01.25.2022 11:54
Story ID: 413379

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