The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin accepting used, natural Christmas trees today as part of its annual tree recycling program.
The trees will be used as fish attractors throughout Hartwell Lake.
Used, natural Christmas trees only can be dropped off from today through February 15 at a number of locations. Those include the Poplar Springs boat ramp in Franklin County and Big Oaks Recreation Area in Hart County.
Corps officials reminded people that no artificial trees should be dropped off and all ornaments and tinsel must be removed from a natural tree before donating it for recycling.
According to the Corps of Engineers, the trees will be tied in bundles, weighted with concrete anchors, and submerged in various locations marked with fish attractor buoys.
Corps Park Ranger Jess Fleming said that the trees provide cover for fish and enhance nursery habitat for juvenile fish, adding that the trees are also beneficial to aquatic insects, which are essential food for most fish species.
The Corps did say that fisherman can pick up trees from any of the drop-off locations for personal use from today up through February 15.
Officials said that fisherman using the trees should remember that the trees should be anchored in 8 to 12 feet of water and that they should not be placed in the main lake channel or around private docks.
For more information, call the Hartwell Lake Manager’s Office toll free at 1-888-893-0678.