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Local fish hatcheries and lakes accepting Christmas tree donations


With holiday festivities past, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking for donations of live Christmas trees.

Officials said the “Christmas for the Fishes” tree recycling program is an excellent way to get rid of an old tree while simultaneously helping with local wildlife efforts.

Fisheries Biologist Program Coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Tom Timmerman, said donated trees are a key way to keep fish populations healthy in Kentucky lakes.

“One of the things that has happened in these lakes is that the habitat that existed in them when they were impounded has pretty much rotted away and has gone, so you’re basically left with just a clean bathtub almost. And fish need habitat, they need places to live, and survive, and do their fishy business and these live Christmas trees help replenish some of that habitat,” said Timmerman.

Timmerman added trees should be free of all decorations. Smaller items like branches or wreaths might not be accepted because they decompose too quickly.

“Basically, what we’re looking for with these live trees that we put in the lake is just brushy places. Places for small fish to get inside of and to hide. Say you’ve got a Red Oak tree that you’re getting cut down on your property and you’ve got a bunch of branches, that doesn’t really help us much in terms of putting that in the lake,” said Timmerman.

In Rowan County, people can bring trees to the Minor Clark Fish Hatchery at Cave Run Lake. In Carter County, trees can be taken to the Grayson Lake USACE Emergency Spillway Area.