Starting today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will once again collect used, natural Christmas trees for use as fish attractors throughout Hartwell Lake.
There will be two drop-off points in Georgia.
The Corps said trees can be dropped off at the Poplar Springs boat ramp in Franklin County, as well as at the Big Oaks Recreation Area in Hart County.
Corps officials reminded people to remove all ornaments, decorations, and tinsel from the tree before dropping it off.
Also, no artificial trees are accepted.
Once the trees are collected, the Corps will tie the trees in bundles, weight them with concrete anchors and submerge them in various locations with fish attractor buoys.
Fishermen can also pick up the trees for personal use until February 15 from the drop-off locations.
The Corps said trees should be anchored in 8 to 12 feet of water.
Also, the Corps prohibits trees from being placed in the main lake channel or around private docks.
The Corps’ Hartwell Lake office has held an annual Christmas tree recycling program for more than 20 years.
Last year, the Corps said the program collected 180 trees.
Corps of Engineers’ Natural Resource Specialist Jess Fleming said by recycling used Christmas trees in Hartwell Lake, the Corps provides cover for fish and enhances the nursery habitat for juvenile fish.
Fleming added that the trees are also beneficial to aquatic insects, which are essential food for most fish species.
For more information on the tree recycling program, call the Corps’ Hartwell Lake Manager’s Office at 1-888-893-0678.
The program runs through February 15.