Regional Offices > Lander Region > Lander Region News > Volunteers turn trees into fish habitat

Volunteers turn trees into fish habitat

February 21, 2019
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Giving back to the resource

Lander - Recently, about 30 volunteers assisted us with a project to improve fish habitat at Ocean Lake.  On the volunteer day, recycled Christmas trees were placed on the ice and wired to concrete blocks. When the ice melts in the spring, the trees sink to the bottom and create the inland equivalent to an artificial reef.
The project began in 1989 when four Riverton fishermen, Howard Johnson, Bob Baumann, Bob Wilczewski, and Scott Stanley began discussing projects to bring the Ocean Lake fishery back. They realized that increased siltation in the Lake slowed plant growth on the bottom and fish populations fell right along with it. They saw this as a valuable way to give one day a year back to the resource.
Approximately 410 trees were placed on the ice this year.  Special thanks go to Fremont County Solid Waste for collecting and delivering the trees, Wyoming Demolition (out of Sheridan) and Drake’s Landscaping (Mills) for donating concrete block and Geotec (Mills) for donating wire. Brian Woodward (Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Casper), North Platte Walleyes Unlimited (Casper) helped coordinated these donations, and those four fisherman that got it started in the first place.

- WGFD -

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