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Thursday August 25th, 2016 2:13AM

Christmas trees get new life as fish habitats in Lake Hartwell

By Alyson Shields Reporter
LAKE HARTWELL - The fish living in Lake Hartwell will get a belated Christmas gift from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Used Christmas trees will be collected from December 26 to February 15 and placed in the lake to become fish habitats.

"It provides a place for algae to grow, and when you have algae that's going to provide food for your aquatic insects," said Tracy Robillard, Public Affairs Specialist. "And then you've got your smaller fish that will feed on the aquatic insects and that will attract the larger fish."

Robillard said the habitats also attract fishermen.

"Where we place those trees actually creates a really good place for anglers to fish on the lake," said Robillard.

The corps asks that the trees are natural (not artificial) and untrimmed, meaning no tinsel, ornaments or other holiday decorations.

Trees can be donated at several locations, including Big Oaks Recreation Area in Hart County, Poplar Springs Boat Ramp in Franklin County and several locations in South Carolina.

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