SIKESTON - Those who decorate with real Christmas trees during the holidays have a valuable conservation asset that can have a positive impact well beyond the holidays.
By "recycling" real Christmas trees through annual Christmas tree collection program, area residents can create and improve fish habitats in the city's lakes at the Recreation Complex and the R.S. Matthews Park and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Lake Wappapello. Ultimately, the result is better fishing.
With assistance from Pullen Brothers Inc., the City of Sikeston Parks Division is collecting the trees again this year for use as fish shelters at the three lakes.
From Christmas day until Jan. 7, local residents may take their real Christmas trees to the designated collection site on Airport Drive behind the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce office building.
On Jan. 8, Park Division employees will load some of the collected trees on to a trailer provided by Pullen Brothers for transport to Lake Wappapello. The rest will be taken to the city's two lakes where they will be bundled in small groups and submerged for fish shelters.
The fish shelter program affords area residents an opportunity to dispose of their trees in an ecologically sound manner and enhance fishing opportunities in local lakes all at the same time.
New trees are added to selected shelters each year to maintain their usefulness as cover.
The shelters created with the trees provide fish with breeding areas, resting places and safe living space for young fish where they can feed without being preyed upon by larger fish. This protective environment gives fish a better chance to grow into maturity and provide a better fishing experience for anglers.
For more information on the Christmas tree drop off site and program, contact Jiggs Moore at 471-6070.