Discarded Christmas trees can be recycled to make inexpensive, but quality underwater fish attractors. They are easily obtained after the holiday season and are simple to modify into fish structure. The Fisheries Section of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division offers these easy instructions to pond owners.
To make the fish attractor, simply bundle three to five trees together with good quality nylon rope. Attach a piece of Styrofoam or other type of float to the top of the trees so they will remain upright. Next, secure the base of the trees to concrete blocks with nylon rope to ensure they remain on the bottom.
Carefully transport the finished products by boat to the desired locations and sink them to their final destination. Be particularly cautious when performing this work during the winter months since water temperatures are extremely low.
Pond and lake owners should generally position the trees in varying depths of water; however, none should be placed deeper than 8-10 feet since low oxygen may deter fish from using them during the summer months. No more than three attractor sites per surface acre of water should be used or their effectiveness will decline.
Making "reefs" that start near the shore and extend out into deeper water will encourage all sizes of fish to utilize the structure. Small fish most often remain near the shallow water areas, but larger fish can be found in a variety of water depths. Once in place, these structures last for several years and their branching patterns offer young fish suitable protection from predators.
Be sure to mark all attractor locations since angling success can be improved when fishing these sites. Do not place any type of fish attractor in public waters unless permission has been obtained from the appropriate hydropower corporation or the waters’ designated responsible party.
For more information contact the District Fisheries Office that serves your county.