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Why are U.S Forest Departments Dumping Christmas Trees In Lakes Across The U.S.?

Destiny Hemmer
Cust. Service

The holiday season came late this year for Fish across the U.S.

During the week after Christmas, Forest Service employees gathered hundreds of old Christmas trees and dumped them into various lakes across the country. According to Ashley Kuflewski, a biologist with the Forest Service, this tradition has been going on for many years. 

You may be asking, Why would you dump hundreds of Christmas trees to the bottom of a lake?  The trees, according to officials, provide habitat and nourishment for fish and wildlife.  Algae and zooplankton feed off of the composting bark and needles, feeding other animals like crawfish, snails, and mussels. The sunken branches also aid in protection from predators for larger fish needing a sufficient hiding place. This protection in turn, allows the pelagic populations to thrive. 

This boost in the lake's ecosystem attracts more anglers to fish in the area. It is highly encouraged for anglers to participate in this tradition. It’s a win-win situation for both the fish and the anglers. The fish get a belated Christmas present. That being an environment to flourish in, and the angler's investment gives them lakes full of happy fish. It's just important to remember to remove all non-organic materials from your trees before dumping. This includes string lights, tinsel, and ornaments. 

This tradition may be great if you are a part of the population who takes your tree down the week after Christmas. But it may also be motivation to take your tree down sooner if you are someone who waits until January to take down your Holiday decorations. Either way, this donation to your local Forest Department is a good deed that benefits both you and our environment.