BIDWELL — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently placed “fish structures” in Gallia County’s Tycoon Lake.
Matt Hangsleben, a fisheries biologist for the division of wildlife, said the structures serve the fish and anglers. Hangsleben said the structures concentrate fish, giving anglers better chances at a catch. Made from a cinder block, PVC and water tubing, Hangsleben said ODNR have created a sort of modification of what people commonly called a “spider block.”
Bluegill, crappies, bass and sometimes catfish will use the structures as a play for cover to hid from bigger fish. Over time, the structures will have algae growing on them, which will then bait other fish to come to the structure. This could potentially make the older structures better fishing spots.
At Tycoon Lake, Hangsleben said 10 structures were placed off or near the fishing pier, which benefits boat and shore fishers.
Hangsleben said the structures are similar to ODNR’s Christmas tree program, but these structures would be permanent. Christmas trees sunk in lakes will need “refreshed” every five-10 years, Hangsleben said. But the fish structures will not degrade.
Both the fish structures and Christmas trees are on a rotation basis at several lakes throughout Ohio. Hangsleben said other local lakes which have had structures or trees placed for fish include Burr Oak, Strouds Run, Lake Snowden, Lake Hope, Lake Alma and Timber Ridge Lake. Hangsleben said the placement of these items depends on the type of lake and need to be in 10-12 feet of water.
Hangsleben said anglers can find fish structures on the interactive fishing map on ODNR’s website or “HuntFish OH” cell phone app. The map provides GPS coordinates and tells anglers where the structures are and how long ago they were placed at the site.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.