Don’t toss your cut tree after the holidays — recycle it for fish habitat

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2018

FRANKFORT — Help create habitat for fish while disposing of your old cut Christmas tree this season through Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Christmas for the Fishes program.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will accept natural Christmas trees from Dec. 26 through Jan. 15 at 39 drop-off locations in 34 counties. Trees must be free of lights, ornaments, tinsel, garland and any other decorations.

To find the nearest drop-off location, visit the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at and type in the keyword, “Christmas.” Drop-off locations are scattered across the state, including sites near Louisville, Covington and Lexington.

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Fisheries personnel collect the donated trees and bundle them to create fish attractors that will be submerged in lakes across the state. These brush reefs provide new cover for all fish and nursery habitat for young fish. They also attract baitfish and algae, providing food for young fish and other aquatic organisms.

These Christmas tree reefs provide new life to lakes whose cover is dwindling because of natural degeneration of existing woody habitat. The program truly does provide Christmas for Kentucky’s fishes.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife employees build new habitat in lakes year-round. The department plots these locations using Global Position System (GPS) coordinates so anglers can find them. Locations and detailed information are available on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website by searching under the keywords, “fish attractors.”