Lake Shelbyville – A record number, 157 volunteers, joined to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources place donated Christmas trees and artificial fish habitat structures into Lake Shelbyville on March 9, 2013. Every year donated Christmas trees are bundled together in small groups and submerged in the lake at select locations to enhance fish habitat in the lake. Due to the dwindling number of donated Christmas trees, 150 artificial fish habitat structures were purchased. They were then assembled on site by volunteers and placed in the lake. Both the tree and artificial structures provide fish with breeding areas, escape cover and food source from the growth of algae and plankton on or near the structures. The structures are not only invaluable to the fish but to anglers as well.
When the work was completed, the volunteers met at the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center and as thanks for their hard work were treated to chili and hot dogs prepared by the Shelby Sports Club. The volunteers received maps and GPS coordinates detailing the fish habitat locations for use when fishing later. Everyone’s dedication and hard work was greatly appreciated.
Special thanks goes to the owners of Johnstowne Mall in Shelbyville and the City of Sullivan for use of the collection sites, Fox Ready Mix for donating concrete for the anchors, Fox and Austin Masonry for the bricks to weigh down the artificial fish habitat structures and Wal-Mart of Shelbyville for donating their left over Christmas trees. Without the efforts of these businesses and the volunteers donating their time and resources, the fish habitat improvement work day would not be possible.
Release no. 13-22