ANDOVER, Ohio (WKBN) – Building homes for fish was the task Wednesday at Pymatuning Lake. Over 100 volunteers showed up to help.
As part of a project hosted by the Ohio and Pennsylvania departments of natural resources, new structures were built to create a habitat for fish to thrive.
The new structures are needed because much of the natural habitats such as stumps and trees have rotted away.
“It’s a flat mud bottom, now,” said Dewey Forsythe, president of Pymatuning Lake Association.
Volunteers started by making a bottom frame of wood. Then cinder blocks were placed in the base. This way the new structure will sink to the lake floor. More wood is nailed down on top in a crisscross way, which will allow the fish to be able to swim through.
Once the structures were complete a boat transferred them to designated spots in the lake and drops them in.
“We are basically building porcupine crib juniors and basically what those do is imitate the old stumps that have been disappearing from Pymatuning for the past 70 to 80 years,” said Matt Wolf, fishery biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Wolf said it only takes five minutes for the fish to move into their new homes and is the largest project they host every year. It takes the help of every volunteer that shows up to get the work done.
In the past 20 years, the event has created and dropped over 1,800 cribs in the lake.