OMSP creates fish habitats from donations

Published 11:09 am Monday, January 23, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Christmas trees are far more than just a decoration for Oak Mountain State Park as they are being recycled to create ecologically beneficial habitats for the park’s native fish.

“This has been an ongoing practice at Oak Mountain State Park for many years,” Park Naturalist Lauren Massey said. “(It) is implemented by our wonderful maintenance department who work hard and quickly to get these trees in the lakes for our fish residents to enjoy and our fishermen to benefit from.”

Massey said creating habitats using Christmas trees provides a wonderful place for small freshwater wildlife such as snails, mussels and aquatic insects to live and breed in.

“These small critters attract fish for a tasty meal, which in turn attracts the bigger fish,” Massey said. “This created a home for all these species, such as crappie and bass, and provides a great fishing spot for humans. This is a great combination of conservation and recreation for Oak Mountain State Park.”

Massey said these Christmas trees are donated from various members of the community including The Home Depot, local residents and regular park guests.

“Next year, consider donating your live, undecorated tree to OMSP instead of throwing in a burn pile or dumpster,” Massey said. “The fish and the fisherman alike will thank you.”