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DNR will improve fish habitat in new program with aid from partners
Start Date: 10/22/2015 All Day
End Date: 10/22/2015
Event Description:

A new DNR partnership will build fish habitat in reservoirs where natural structure is lacking.

The Reservoir Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Program (RAHEP) will start in the winter of 2016 with improvements at Sullivan Lake, a 451-acre reservoir in Sullivan. 

 Partners include Jones and Sons Concrete, Bass Unlimited, Sullivan County Parks and Sullivan County Jail.

Inmates from the Sullivan County Jail will cut lumber for fish cribs. These structures are made from green poplar and look like a small log cabin, creating refuge for fish. Inmates will work with Sullivan County Parks and Lake staffers during winter to prepare materials and assist with building.

 Other structures will include brush piles, Georgia Cubes (a PVC cube with corrugated pipe wound inside) and black bass nesting platforms. Jones and Sons Concrete in Bloomfield has donated 200 cinder blocks. Bass Unlimited, a non-profit angling group based in Terre Haute, has pledged materials and volunteers to help with structure construction.

 “Because Bass Unlimited is funded by anglers and conservationists, it is a natural fit to partner with Indiana DNR and assist in this type of project,” Bass Unlimited president Wil Newlin said.

 Newlin believes the new program will enhance aquatic biodiversity and therefore improve recreational fishing experiences, which is part of Bass Unlimited’s mission.

 Sullivan Lake was chosen as the program’s first lake because it holds little aquatic vegetation and has been awarded a grant for shoreline stabilization project through the Indiana Lakes and Rivers Enhancement Program (LARE).

 “There are a lot of positive things going on at Sullivan Lake, and these improvements will make fishing better,” said Sandy Clark-Kolaks, DNR southern fisheries research biologist. “We hope to put more than 100 structures into Sullivan Lake in 2016, and it will take many hands to build them all.”

 Most of Indiana’s reservoirs were built in the 1950s and 1960s. Over the years, the trees, logs and roots that provided cover for fish have degraded and decomposed. 

 Anglers and the public can help during a work day in spring 2016. A date is yet to be determined. Volunteers will likely help assemble structures from ready materials.

Contact Information:
Name: Sandy Clark-Kolaks
Phone: (812) 287-8300
State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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