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Forest service to accept Christmas trees until Jan. 8

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By The Staff

TELL CITY - The Hoosier National Forest invites Perry Countians and others to turn their old Christmas trees into fish habitat in area lakes and ponds.

When submerged, recycled Christmas trees offer habitat to enhance feeding and cover for a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, blue-gill and other sunfish species. Once submerged, the trees serve as media for the growth of algae. This attracts insects and other invertebrates, which provide food for small fish.

"Creating more underwater habitat for bass and bluegill fisheries is a means to increase the numbers of these gamefish, and thus make more and larger fish available to anglers," said Amanda Kunzmann, fisheries biologist for the Hoosier National Forest.

Recycling Christmas trees also provides many benefits to the environment. Fewer trees end up in landfills, wild fire risk is reduced by not burning them and they contribute to the entire lake ecosystem.

There will be a Christmas-tree drop-off location at the Tell City Ranger Station, 248 15th St. in Tell City, through Jan. 8. Signs will be posted. Ornaments and tinsel should be removed from the trees before dropping them off. Call the Forest Service at (812) 547-7051 for more information or with questions on the tree-recycling program.