Once the Christmas season ends, revelers once again will be able to turn their used Christmas trees into fish habitat.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District announced Thursday that real Christmas trees – not artificial ones – will be accepted Dec. 19-Jan. 9, and then will be used for fish habitat in Clarks Hill Lake.
The recycled trees will be placed in various locations throughout the lake.
“The submerged trees attract fish because they provide cover for small fish as well as a substrate for algae growth, which creates a feeding area for smaller fish,” said Jamie Sykes, Corps of Engineers’ fisheries biologist. “These small fish attract larger species, thus creating an enticing “hot spot” for anglers.”
Trees can be dropped off at Riverside Middle School at 1095 Furys Ferry Road in Evans. All decorations such as tinsel, lights, garland and bulbs must be removed from the trees before dropping them off. Dumping of wireframe wreaths, yard debris, and household trash at the site is prohibited.
Corps rangers and volunteers will place the submerged trees around fishing piers and in other locations to improve fishing habitat. Additional trees will be staged at boat ramps around the lake for anglers to use. A list of locations where the trees will be available can be obtained by calling the Corps’ office at 1 (800) 533-3478 after Jan. 10.
“Our annual tree recycling effort is labor intensive and requires a partnership with Riverside Middle School, the U.S. Forest Service, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Corps of Engineers,” Sykes said.
The Corps of Engineers has held the tree recycling program for about 20 years at the lake and collects between 1,000 and 1,200 trees annually.
“It provides a great service to the local community by reducing materials handled by local landfills, and it provides a great resource to lake visitors looking for a great place to spend a few hours fishing,” said Ken Boyd, Corps’ wildlife biologist.
For more information or to volunteer, contact the Corps’ Project Office at 1 (800) 533-3478.