Recycling Christmas trees into fish habitat is a fine Lake Havasu City tradition. Unfortunately, for the third time in four years, the project is canceled this year.

Coronavirus concerns stymied the volunteer coordination this time around, according to Anglers United, which spearheads the effort. After a two-year hiatus in 2018 and 2019, the program resumed last year.

The annual efforts each year allows several hundred trees to become part of the artificial lake habitat structures. These structures, when filled with wood and brush, help sustain the aquatic life of Lake Havasu.

The tree program keeps alive an extensive lake rehabilitation project that officially ended almost 15 years ago but continued with various agencies adding new structures to the lake. The trees are important to the habitats. They decompose, though, and need to be replaced.

The tree effort is a small but important effort. Reservoirs have life cycles. The fill with silt. Twenty five years ago, the Lake Havasu fishery was in poor condition. A rehabilitation project aimed at native fish had the additional benefit of helping game fish populations. The lake became, and still is, a highly-regarded fishing destination.

Lake Havasu needs to be nurtured and sustained for a variety of uses ranging from drinking water to boating to fishing.

One thing about the fishing part: When people fish their local waters, they begin to care a lot more about clean water and conservation of the resource. It creates a literal ripple effect of involvement and support for waterway improvements. This leads to even more visitors wanting to share in the experience, an important economic driver.

A few trees make a big difference. We appreciate the volunteer effort behind it and hope it can be revived and continue.

— Today’s News-Herald

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