Corps collecting Christmas trees for West Point Lake

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District will be accepting real Christmas trees, not artificial trees, for recycling Dec. 26 through Jan. 8, 2021.

Chief Park Ranger Ben Williams said that they have collected Christmas trees for the past several years. 

“Real trees will be used to create brush piles in the lake to improve fish habitat,” Williams said. “We can’t have artificial trees and all the trees have to be undecorated. They can bring them out and put them in designated areas.” 

The trees can be dropped off in the parking lots of Yellowjacket Boat Ramp, Sunny Point Boat Ramp in Georgia and Rocky Point Boat Ramp in Alabama. 

“What it does is it adds some structure in the shallow areas that we have around here,” Williams said. “There’s not many places down there for the fish to hide, so this just adds a place where small fish can get away from bigger fishes as they are growing. Some fish will use them to lay their eggs.” 

Additionally, the trees cause the natural, healthy algae to grow on the trees, which in turn the fish will eat. 

People can place the trees in the designated locations in the parking lots. Dumping of

household trash at these sites is strictly prohibited.

Individuals who wish to place their own Christmas trees in the lake are reminded to avoid placing them in boating channels and to follow the guidelines:

4Do not place the trees where they could become safety hazards to boaters or swimmers. For example, trees should not be placed near boat launching ramps, in shallow boat traffic channels, or at swimming areas.

4Use a suitable anchoring system to prevent the trees from floating away or moving around. A cement block will work well as an anchor for one or two trees, but it must be securely fastened to the tree using nylon twine or a similar material.

Williams said the corps got the idea from another park a few years ago and saw the improvements it added to their lake.  

“It has been real successful in our own lake,” Williams said. 

“Fishermen will go out to the spots in the spring and fish every year. We’ve got designated areas all around the lake where we do artificial reef type things, and we go back to those spots every year and add to them.” 

A permit is not necessary to place a few Christmas trees in the lake. 

Anglers who wish to install large numbers of trees or other types of structure for fishing reefs should contact the West Point Project Management Office at (706) 645-2937.