The Park Division, with assistance from Pullen Brothers Inc., is collecting real Christmas trees again this year for use as shelters in the city's two public fishing lakes. By recycling real Christmas trees through the annual Christmas tree collection program, area residents can improve fish habitat in the city's lakes in the Recreation Complex and at R.S. Matthews Park and also at Lake Wappapello, which ultimately will improve the fishing in those lakes.
Beginning Christmas Day and continuing through Jan. 9, local residents may take their real trees to the designation collection site on Airport Drive behind the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce building. On Jan. 10, Park Division employees will load a portion of the trees collected onto a trailer provided by Pullen Brothers Inc. for transport to the Corps of Engineers at Lake Wappapello. The remainder of the trees will be taken to the city's two lakes, where they will be bundled in small groups to be submerged.
The fish shelter program gives area residents an opportunity to dispose of trees in an ecologically sound manner and, at the same time, enhance fishing opportunities for anglers at local lakes. The shelters created by the submerged bundles of trees provide fish with breeding areas and resting places. They also 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 a good fishing experience for anglers. New trees are added to selected shelters each year to maintain their usefulness as cover.
Area residents are encouraged to continue their support of this conservation effort to continue to improve fishing conditions in Sikeston's lakes. For more information, call Jiggs Moore at 475-3725.