Mississippi’s recycled Christmas trees used to create fish habitats
With the 2017 holiday season officially over, it’s just about time to say goodbye to O Tannenbaum — the family Christmas tree.
After the City of Oxford collects old trees around town, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will pick them up and store them until Habitat Day on Feb. 3, where volunteers will come together to unload the discarded trees and put them in various spots in Enid Lake to create fish habitats.
The trees are staked down to keep them in place, where they will become new spawning areas and homes for fish.
Cedar and discarded Christmas trees are used to construct fish shelters in targeted areas. The actual placement of fish shelters is accomplished by interested volunteers who donate their time and equipment. They drag the trees with ATV’s, and anchor them with concrete blocks and other weights along creek beds and other designated areas.
“We anticipate using approximately 800 Christmas trees and 700 cedar trees that have been harvested for this event,” Greg Raimondo, with the U.S. Army Corps public affairs office
Restoration of the fish habitat is very important to the future fisheries at Enid Lake, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Enid Lake’s website.
Fish use these shelters for various reasons: cover, areas to feed, and for a place to spawn. Also restoring the habitat can increase the health and populations of fish.
According to studies performed by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks the restoration program has shown enormous benefits to the fish and habitat in Enid Lake.
For those living in the county or who want to take their trees directly to the U.S. Army Corps, Christmas trees, free of lights and decorations, can be dropped off at the boat launches. From there, volunteers and fishermen will take the trees to be used as new habitats in Enid Lake.
For more information on Habitat Day or the fish habitat Christmas tree program, call the Enid office at 662-232-2745.