Christmas Tree Recycling


Watch Video - Recycle your natural Christmas Tree for Fish Habitat

With the winter Holidays fast approaching, many people are opting for a natural tree this year.  After the presents are unwrapped and the lights are coming down, please consider donating your tree to KDFWR for fish habitat construction. KDFWR has drop-off points across the state where you can bring your old tree and put it to good use.  KDFWR will take your tree and combine it with others to create fish attractors for lakes all over the state.  Trees will be used to replenish existing fish habitat sites as well as create new habitat sites. These brush reefs provide nesting and rearing habitat for gamefish as well as creating homes for invertebrates and smaller fishes that provide food for larger fish.  Just clean your tree of all of the artificial decorations, lights, tinsel, ornaments, etc. and drop it off at one of our locations below, during daylight hours only (between 8:00am and 5:00pm).  Christmas tree drop-off sites will be open from Christmas Day through January 15th. The locations are in parks for the most part, so it will be a good opportunity to get out of the house and social distance while you help fish populations across the state.  To find out where your donated tree might end up this year or provide recommendations on new habitat sites, contact your local fisheries biologist.  You can find contact information for your area on our Fisheries Staff page.

2020 has been a year very different than most, but we continue to get through this, together.  This summer we saw an unprecedented number of people taking to the lakes and rivers to enjoy the outdoors and socially distance at the same time.  Many people we talked to were on the water for the first time.  Deciding where to fish on lakes can be a daunting task for first-time anglers.  That is why KDFWR creates fish attractors and provides maps to help people find these hotspots of fish activity.

The fish attractors are made in a variety of shapes and sizes and include material from trees, rocks, logs, wooden pallets, and even commercially made plastic structures.  These structures are typically dense in nature with tree limbs and shade producing cover.  Weedless presentations and lures are a good option when fishing these areas to reduce snagging.  Lake habitat sites will vary in depth and may include areas in the backs of creeks, large flats, small pockets, and even main lake points.  Many of these sites are located away from the bank in deeper water, so fish finders will help in identifying these offshore locations.  Before picking a site to fish, consider the time of year, water temperature, and fish behavior to increase your success on the water.


Here is what Kentucky Fish and Wildlife does with your donated trees.


Staging trees at the ramp for building fish habitat


 Building habitat structures on shore for transport to site by boat


Deploying trees in the lake to improve fish habitat


 Click on the pictures below for short videos of fish using KDFWR constructed habitat



​​ ​​​​