By RANDY ZELLERS | Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
LITTLE ROCK — Once the wrapping paper has been thrown away and the last drop of eggnog has been consumed, few people have a use for that evergreen tree that graced their home during the holiday season. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a new job for those leftover trees: fish habitat.
The AGFC has drop-off locations across the state to let your old Christmas tree have a second life as underwater cover. The small spaces and dense cover offered by fresh Christmas trees make excellent nursery habitat for small fish as well as great places to fish.
Anglers are welcome to remove trees from drop-off locations to create their own fish attractors. Tying the trees to cinder blocks with parachute cord is a popular option to weigh the trees down. Sandbags also are a popular option. By the time the bags and cord deteriorate, the trees will be waterlogged and no longer need the weight to stay on the bottom.
The small branches will deteriorate quickly, so it’s best to sink the trees in groups. The trunks of the trees will last much longer, offering some woody cover long after a single tree’s attractiveness wanes.
Trees should be clean of all ornaments, lights and tinsel before they are dropped off. Artificial Christmas trees should not be used as fish habitat, either.
Trees can be dropped off at any of the following locations until the end of January:
- Camden – AGFC Regional Office on Ben Lane, next to the National Guard Armory
- Upper White Oak Lake – Upper Jack’s Landing
- Magnolia – Columbia County Road Department Yard on Highway 371
- El Dorado – City recycling center drop-offs: one behind Arby’s and one on South Jackson
- Smackover – Recycling Drop-Off Center (these will be transported to El Dorado)
- Bois d’Arc Lake – Kidd’s Landing or Hatfield Access
- Millwood Lake – Cottonshed, White Cliffs Recreation Areas and the Millwood State Park ramp on the point
- Dierks Lake – Jefferson Ridge South Recreation Area
- De Queen Lake – Any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp
- Gillham Lake – Any U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat ramp
- Lake Greeson – New Cowhide Cove and Self Creek Recreation areas
- South Fork Lake – South Fork Lake Access
- Terre Noire Lake – Terre Noire Lake Access
- Hope – AGFC Regional Office on U.S. Highway 67 East
- Lake Dieffenbacher – Bobby Ferguson Park Pavilion