A Second Life for Trees in Lakes: As Useful in Water as They Were on Land

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SKU GWQ072

Author(s) Michael A. Bozek

Remarkably, after a tree falls in the lake, it might last another 300 to 600 years in the water. Fish use submerged trees in a variety of ways. Many species spawn on, adjacent to, or under trees that provide cover which help some species protect their incubating brood. Newly hatched smallmouth bass will often inhabit submerged trees.

Large submerged trees can host entire fish communities. In Wisconsin, fifteen species of fish inhabited a single white pine tree in Katherine Lake including black crappies, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, muskellunge, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch and minnows. Waterfront property owners can increase fish habitat by leaving trees that fall in the water in place (8 pages; 2016).

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