Fisheries biologists with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are using old Christmas trees to improve habitat at popular fishing locations around the Mountain State.
Aaron Yeager, an assistant fisheries biologist, said the program is very beneficial.
"Most of our reservoirs are lacking in complex woody cover, so any type of structure we can make with the Christmas trees we collect or other types of brush is really beneficial,” Yeager said.
The woody cover created by old Christmas trees gives small, young fish an opportunity to grow, which increases the overall fish population, he said.
The trees also provide ambush spots for larger fish and serve as attractors that experienced anglers can use to their advantage.
Following the Christmas season, division staff usually collect live, full-size Christmas trees and place them in lakes around the state.
The program has environmental benefits beyond improving fish habitat by finding a new use for trees that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
For more information about habitat restoration and improvement, visit Fish Habitat Improvement.