Manmade structures called fish cities hope to create new habitats in older lakes.
A team from South Dakota State University is running tests on older lakes, like Lake Sharpe, using the tree like structures in hopes of establishing new micro-environments for fish. The team from SDSU, led by Brian Graeb, a natural resources management associate professor, is currently running studies having installed the devices in four private lakes in Texas and South Dakota.
Graeb, who has partnered with graduate students at the school, says the research is looking positive. As reported in the Capital Journal, Graeb stated that, “We’re seeing some really immediate results.” One of the lakes noticed fish establishing the new habitat within 24 hours of it being placed in the water.
For similar reasons, the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks have recently begun using the structures as well. The Game, Fish, and Parks department placed multiple fish cities into Hipple Lake earlier this month. Hipple Lake, which is along the Missouri River five miles from the state’s capital city of Pierre, is home to multiple species of bass, walleye, catfish and trout. The new additions to Hipple Lake offer the first chance for the public to fish over the new habitats.
The structures used in the studies come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are the brainchild of an Arkansas-based company, Mossback Fish Habitat. Originally developed as a way to supplement a local lake for his own pleasure and purposes, Founder David King quickly realized he was onto something. The company claims the fish cities are both environmentally friendly and incredibly effective. The group also argues the fish cities are much easier on fishing equipment and gear than many natural habitats. One study claims that fishers lost substantially fewer lures over the fish cities than they did when fishing over other man-made habitats.