Community project to benefit area fishing

Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Volunteers bundled, weighted, and loaded Christmas trees to be sunk and used for fish habitat at various locations at Big Lake. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Town Crier News Staff

Volunteers, Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge staff, and members of the Manila Boy Scout Troop 32, gathered on Saturday to assist with a community project.

In spite of the cold weather, approximately 26 volunteers worked together to bundle donated Christmas trees to be used for fish habitat at several areas across Big Lake.

Hundreds of Christmas trees were donated by individuals and Lowe's in Blytheville. The trees were stacked at a designated area near the fishing pier off Highway 18 until Feb. 4. On Saturday the trees were bundled, weighted and sunk around the fishing pier, Bright's Landing, Timms' Point, and other areas. The weighted trees were loaded onto boats and taken around the Lake.

The group used cinder blocks and five gallon buckets of cement, donated by Bill Yarbro, to weight the trees. Several fish cribs were made by the Mississppi County Work Release workers to be used in the project.

Christmas trees for fish habitat has been used successfully for many years and Aaron Mize, biological technician at Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge, said he thinks it will work well for the crappie and bass at Big Lake.

Jeremy Bennett, Big Lake Manager, said he appreciated the volunteers and the trees donated for the project.

Lunch was served at the Big Lake Headquarters. Chili, soup and hot dogs were served.

Over half of the trees were submerged and a future work day may be planned for other areas of Big Lake.

Local fisherman agreed the project should enhance the area fishing.

Boy Scout members attending included Ricky McCallie, Travis McCallie, Josh Henderson, Jordan Jones, and Geramie Stallings. The Big Lake project was the first Scout service project for the 2006 year.

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