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Archive for Saturday, July 19, 2008

Club turns trash into fish habitat

Free State Fly Fishers member Tom Hay, Lawrence, and other members hoist pipe-bucket-trees Saturday from a pontoon boat into Douglas County State Lake. The state's wildlife and parks department and the club dropped about 70 buckets to help rebuild the lake's ecosystem.

Free State Fly Fishers member Tom Hay, Lawrence, and other members hoist pipe-bucket-trees Saturday from a pontoon boat into Douglas County State Lake. The state's wildlife and parks department and the club dropped about 70 buckets to help rebuild the lake's ecosystem.

July 19, 2008

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Fixing Up the Lake

Workers with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks along with members of the Free State Fly Fishers club work to populate the Douglas County State Lake with about 70 pipe-bucket-trees designed to attract microorganisms to the lake in an effort to rebuild its ecosystem. Enlarge video

— With PVC pipes and buckets as their building blocks, members of Free State Fly Fishers are helping to build a thriving underwater city at Douglas County State Lake.

"We've basically taken what amounts to a bunch of trash and turned it into aquatic habitat for the fishery," club president Jeff Frye said Saturday from the lake's shore. "This is a huge enhancement. It makes it a better fishery."

Club members constructed "trees" made of PVC pipes cemented into plant buckets. On Saturday, they took boat rides across the lake, dropping the trees in selected areas.

The lake and its inhabitants will take up the effort from there.

"Plant life will stick to those plastic branches," Frye said. "That'll attract the smaller microorganisms, which will attract the smaller fish. Small fish will attract big fish, so you'll have the whole food chain right there."

The move is the latest step in the lake's three-year renovation. The lake was drained in 2005 for repairs to the dam and water-control equipment.

Since then, it's been on the rebound. The lake has been restocked with fathead minnows, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish and largemouth bass. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks also has enhanced the underwater habitat by adding rock mounds and brush piles to the basin. Fish feeders are set up on the lake to help grow the populations.

The agency is happy to have assistance from such groups as Free State Fly Fishers, said Richard Sanders, district fisheries biologist with Wildlife and Parks.

"We welcome these volunteer groups that are interested in helping out with a fish habitat project like this," he said.

The Fly Fishers recycled the materials originally used at Sunrise Garden Center, 1501 Learnard Ave. They constructed about 70 "trees" that they dropped in three different areas in the lake.

Mike Grose, the group's vice president of conservation, said fish will quickly discover the trees' appeal.

"It's like an oasis," he said. "They're immediately going to be drawn to it. Fish are going to use it for protection."

The lake is closed to fishing, but it may open as soon as Jan. 1, 2009, if the conditions and populations were right, Sanders said. Early signs indicate the underwater city is on the upswing.

"We've been doing some sampling, and the fish populations are starting to look pretty good," Sanders said.

Comments

invictus 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow I feel better about all those beer cans I have dropped into lakes. It turns out I am a great environmentalist. I need to find out how to deduct my mileage and beer as a charitable expense. Contribute to bio-diversity: Litter

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lounger 5 years, 9 months ago

ukillaJJ (Anonymous) says:"I'm not an expert, but doesn't PVC degrade into poisonous chemicals???" Right you are ukillaJJ! It seems this is a good Idea... it should just be thought out a little more. PVC-Polyvinyl chloride- is horrible stuff! Just Google it and you will find out. Ten years from now the fish will be all nasty with PVC-but hey they will be a plenty!! Kind of like fishing in the river-Lots of fish but horrible quality!!!!

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Ramsfield 5 years, 9 months ago

ahh, the usual moronic comments regarding anything positive.....

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autie 5 years, 9 months ago

I wish they would have showed a picture of the structures they put together. I can only imagine the artwork. I used old pallets screwed together and tethered down in my pond. Highly effective except when my wife cast her line on to one and gets snagged.

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Grump 5 years, 9 months ago

Ragingbear, it's a man-made l lake. It wasn't designed by nature.

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Ragingbear 5 years, 9 months ago

Anyone remember how we used to dump used tires in the ocean off the excuse that it would magically form a reef? Remember how we found out later that it basically swept the ocean floor clean? So we grind them up and make our kids play on them now.Nature has been here for Billions of years. Perhaps we should try using nature to build habitats, and stop trying to "Improve" on Nature's design.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

sorry, multi that's just what hit my warped humor when i saw their group's name! suppose with them thar flathead minnoes in douglas county lake, they'll quit posting?

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 9 months ago

comes out fry flishers free state fly frishersThanks gnome, now I feel 12 and stupid!rofl

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 9 months ago

"fathead minnows ...Hey! we've had them posting on here for years!the Free State Fly Fishers clubsay that ten times fast, I dare ya'.

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pace 5 years, 9 months ago

I just hope some self deciever doesn't decide that throwing plastic into the water is cool, heck it's fish habitate, taint. Don't trash it, see litter, pick it up, see your date litter, dump them.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 9 months ago

With all the ocean and interior waterway dumping, haven't we been turning trash into fish habitat for decades now?

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bigdave 5 years, 9 months ago

If that was true you have been drinking a lot of poisonous chemicals, hell we all have!!! HELP CALL 911 I feel sick!!

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ukillaJJ 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm not an expert, but doesn't PVC degrade into poisonous chemicals???

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toe 5 years, 9 months ago

Since Habitat for Humanity was already taken, the group voted and formed Habitat for Fish. Membership requires the ability to hold ones breath for more than 2 minutes.

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