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Structure in the Interstate Lakes

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    Structure in the Interstate Lakes

    The game and parks has been clearing trees in their public properties along I-80 for awhile now, and leaving the tree piles sit, I imagine to eventually burn, or to serve as some source of habitat for rabbits or something along those lines. My question is why have they not placed some of these large trees in the adjacent lakes for some fish structure. The number one problem with our small lakes is that most are basically bowls with no sort of structure, which I feel like we are really missing out on the potential of many lakes. I am not sure if there are USACE permits needed for this, but I believe the little extra paper work would be worth it to improve the fisheries. I have heard a few ichthyologists claim that structure only improves the fishing, and not the quality of the fishery, but this couldn't be more wrong. Structure can provide shelter, ambush sites, staging areas, and improve the invertebrate population, in turn improving the entire food chain. What are some thoughts on this?

    Welcome to the forum, Tofish!

    In South Central Nebraska, they have removed shoreline trees and done extensive work around a few I-80 lakes in a successful effort to improve angler access. Most of these lakes already have quite a bit of structure in the form of weed beds and existing tree piles. That said, from a Youth Fishing Instructor standpoint, I would like to see a few more "fish attractors", natural or artificial, within fish-able distance of the new access points. Give the fish reason to stop and hang out if even temporarily.


      I have not fished a lot of the lakes, but I have seen some excellent work done to improve shoreline access at places such as sandy channels. But I agree, why stop at access, why not improve the fishing near these access points to help recruit new anglers to the sport! Just saw a cheap and easy opportunity to get more structure in these lakes with all the tree clearing they are doing, and it would be nice to have some hard structure in a lot of the little lakes. Give the fish all they advantages can get!


      • papag
        papag commented
        Editing a comment
        Russian olives and red cedars are allelopathic, meaning they produce chemicals that inhibit other plants from growing near them. Tossing these fresh cut trees into the water can release those chemicals. This may or may not effect water quality.

        I am also in agreement with whitetips that brush piles are definitely fish attractors that also attract anglers. I fished interstate lakes a lot when I lived down that way, and most of them have plenty of vegetation, which provides excellent cover for growing fry and also ambush points for the larger predators. If I remember correctly there were also a good number of brush piles in them. Welcome to the forum, your input is appreciated.

      I have seen a lot of interstate lakes, have fished most of them. They may be "bowls" but most have good water quality and at least some aquatic vegetation--that is fish habitat and those lakes can be very productive habitats.

      Artificial structures like brushpiles sure don't hurt anything, but they serve mostly as fish attractors especially in waters that have habitat like aquatic vegetation. The brushpiles are for the anglers more than for the fish.

      Fish Attractors

      Daryl B.

      Daryl Bauer
      Fisheries Outreach Program Manager
      Nebraska Game & Parks Commission