Fisheries biologists in Kansas are taking a new approach to building fish habitat in one of the state’s lakes, according to KWCH-TV in Wichita. Instead of placing dead trees in El Dorado Lake, which is a common practice to boost fish habitat, the biologists are placing what they call “PVC Cubes.”
The cubes are structures built by crisscrossing four or five layers of corrugated drainage tubing on top of one another. The whole mass is given a cube-like shape thanks to white PVC pipes built around it that scientists grab onto when deploying and retrieving the cubes.
“Beginning this year, we started with a new PVC habitat structure that’s starting to replace some of our woody structures, hedge and cedar trees that we’ve put in the lakes in the past,” said Craig Johnson, district fisheries biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, to KWCH. “Hopefully those PVC structures will last 20 or 30 years.”
That means they could last much longer than the trees, which biodegrade and eventually disappear altogether. There are benefits for the short term as well, with expectations being that fish will flock to them for cover.
“Right out of the shoot, they’re going to be great for the anglers,” Johnson told KWCH. “They’re going to concentrate the available fish that we do have to where anglers are more successful in catching them.”