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Kentucky: Send your Christmas tree to sleep with the fishes

A screenshot of a video showing Kentucky residents how to donate Christmas trees to become fish habitats.
Courtesy of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
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A screenshot of a video showing Kentucky residents how to donate Christmas trees to become fish habitats.

Christmas has come and gone, but the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources wants your Christmas tree to create fish habitats.

From Dec. 26 until Jan. 15, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will take real trees without any decorations at drop off sites around the state. Because the sites range from parking lots to public parks, the state says it’s best to plan to drop trees off in daylight hours.

Based on previous years, they’re expecting to get a little more than 5,000 trees. This year, the trees will then get submerged at various depths in 19 strategically picked lakes.

Kentucky fisheries biologist Jeff Crosby says the trees provide a great fish habitat for fish to spawn or hide from predators.

“It does give them an area to go and seek a little haven or a place to hide for a little bit and also to feed,” he said.

The state classifies the trees as “fish attractors” along with objects like large rocks and wooden pallets that are sunk in lakes. The wildlife department provides GPS coordinates for every fish attractor for anglers to use as they become hotspots for bass, bluegill, and crappie.

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Justin is LPM's Data Reporter. Email Justin at jhicks@lpm.org.