News Release: February 21, 2020

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fisheries biologists for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are using old Christmas trees to improve habitat at popular fishing locations around the state.

“Most of our reservoirs are lacking in complex, woody cover, so any type of structure we can make with the Christmas trees we collect or other types of brush are really beneficial,” said Aaron Yeager, an assistant fisheries biologist.

The woody cover created by the Christmas trees gives small, young fish an opportunity to grow, which increases the overall fish population. The trees also provide ambush spots for larger fish and serve as attractors experienced anglers can use to their advantage.

Following the Christmas season, DNR staff collect real, full-size Christmas trees and place them in lakes around the state. The program has environmental benefits beyond improving fish habitat by finding a new use for trees that would otherwise end up in a landfill. For more information about habitat restoration and improvement, visit

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Permission to use these assets is granted by the West Virginia Department of Commerce for the sole purpose of reporting on this story. A complete media package may be downloaded here.