A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources accepting trees for Christmas for the Fishes program

Repurposing your used cut Christmas trees helps give Kentucky’s underwater inhabitants new homes after the holiday season ends.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is collecting natural Christmas trees at 39 drop-off locations across the state for its Christmas for the Fishes program. Collection will continue until mid-January.

“Christmas for the Fishes gives people the opportunity to participate in our year-round conservation efforts,” says Joseph Zimmerman, habitat program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “Instead of your tree going to a landfill, it can be recycled into something that directly helps our fish and wildlife.”

Donated trees must be free of all lights, tinsel, ornaments and any other decorations. Limbs, wreaths or other brush are not encouraged.

To find the closest drop-off location, visit fw.ky.gov and search using “Christmas.” Drop-off sites are generally open during daylight hours and are not staffed.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife staff will bundle trees to place in lakes throughout the state to provide fish attractors. This practice not only gives use to discarded Christmas trees, but it also adds food sources and protective cover for Kentucky’s aquatic species.

Planned projects include improvements to Boltz Lake and Corinth Lake, as well as continuing improvements at Barren River Lake.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife receives around 3,000 donated trees each year. Thanks to these habitat supplements, anglers have reported higher catch rates for crappie and bass.

Many of Kentucky’s lakes are more than 50 years old, and consequently, natural woody debris that provided the right aquatic environment has broken down naturally over time.

From baitfish to game fish, programs like Christmas for the Fishes add necessary foundational habitat where it had previously been lost, especially within central Kentucky’s Golden Triangle.

A Christmas tree attractor in action

To see a Christmas tree attractor in action, click here.

Anglers are encouraged to take full advantage of fish attractors in Kentucky, found in 35 lakes across the state. Visit fw.ky.gov and search using the keywords “Fish Attractors” to find coordinates of each location and learn more about fish attractors.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Related Posts

Leave a Comment