WSC volunteers start a new Stoney Creek pond habitat improvement project so as to produce more and bigger fish
At the request of the Wintergreen Sporting Club, this winter the Wintergreen Property Owners Association provided used Christmas trees from the homeowners to the volunteers of the WSC fishing group. The fishermen then worked with the trees, tying them up with concrete blocks so they would sink and stay down Stoney Creek's in ponds.
"One key to this project were the two WSC members–Tom Patti and Andy Burdetsky–who manned their boats loaded with the trees to carry them to their final resting spot at the bottom of the ponds," notes Bruce Henderson, WSC's fishing group lead, who coordinated this effort. The unusually warm weather in late February was also a help.
Why sink Christmas trees for the fish? KeepAmericaFishing.org explains:
As the woody plant tissue decomposes, Mother Nature jumpstarts a whole new series of vegetation at the lowest levels of life such as phytoplankton and various algae.
Zooplankton, also known as water fleas, populate and forage on the new vegetation, attracting small insects, mussels, snails, and crayfish who also eat on the phyto and zooplankton.
"The abundance of life then attracts small, non-predatory fish that eat on the small insects or zooplankton, and the larger, predator species we cherish.