Have you ever wondered what to do with your Christmas tree after December 25th? Instead of placing it out by the curb why not donate it to improve habitat in Lake Conroe?
In past years, the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) has worked at distributing information on how to utilize Christmas trees as fish habitat in Lake Conroe. This year, SJRA and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will be holding a Christmas tree drive to collect the trees and put them into Lake Conroe to create a more thriving fish habitat. Anyone interested in participating is welcome to drop off their UNDECORATED Christmas tree (not artificial). For information regarding specific days and location for drop off, please visit our homepage.
Woody debris is an important natural fish habitat. Logs, trees, and branches wash into rivers and lakes during storms, however, these natural piles can be hard to find. Creating artificial brush piles is an excellent way to provide fish habitat, support a lakes food web, and congregate fish for anglers. To make sure the brush does not move, which could make it hard for anglers to find or create navigation hazards to boats, each piece of wood is properly weighed down and anchored in place.
Properly placed brush piles form a tight nest of twigs that provide excellent home for young fish to nest in, hidden from larger fish. The twigs grow periphyton – a mossy slime consisting of algae, cyanobacteria, microinvertebrates, and detritus – that attracts and feeds little invertebrates like forms and damselfly nymphs. Both the periphyton and invertebrates are consumed by small fish, allowing them to quickly grow. Larger predators like bass and crappie patrol the outside of the brush piles, waiting for a small fish to wander too far away, or for an angler’s lure.
Brush piles will eventually break down, but even as they do, they support the fish. Invertebrates like worms and crayfish eat the decaying wood and are in turn eaten by large fish that continue to hunt the old brush pile.
Contributing to the Christmas tree drive is an opportunity for everyone in the Conroe area to support the lake’s ecosystem by helping to enhance what is already a world-class sport fishing destination. SJRA and TPWD would like to thank to thank you in advance for your support of this cause and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Featured in Dock Line Magazine.