SIKESTON - Sikeston area residents who decorate with real Christmas trees have a valuable conservation asset that will have a positive impact well beyond the holidays.
By recycling a real Christmas tree through the annual Christmas tree collection program, area residents can improve fish habitat at Lake Wappapello and the city's lakes in the Recreation Complex and R.S. Matthews Park. The improved fishing habitat means improved fishing, officials point out.
Beginning Christmas day and continuing through Jan. 9, residents can take their Christmas trees to the designated collection site on Airport Drive behind the Chamber of Commerce building. On Jan. 10, Pullen Brothers Inc. will provide the trucks to transport the trees to Lake Wappapello where the Corps of Engineers will bundle the trees in small groups to be submerged in the lake for fish shelters. City crews will bundle the trees for use in local lakes.
The fish shelter program provides area residents an opportunity to dispose of their real Christmas trees in an ecologically sound manner and at the same time enhance fishing opportunities at Lake Wappapello and the local lakes.
The shelters created by the submerged bundles of trees provide fish with breeding areas and resting places. Also they provide young fish safe living space where they can feed without being preyed upon by larger fish. With this protective environment, fish have a better chance to grow to maturity and provide good fishing experience for anglers. New trees are added to selected shelters each year to maintain their usefulness as cover.
Over the last few years, according to the Corps of Engineers, Sikeston has become the largest contributor of Christmas trees to their fish shelter program at Lake Wappapello. Area residents are encouraged to continue their support of this conservation effort.
For more information on the Christmas tree drop-off site and program contact Jiggs Moore at 471-6070.