Helena

Dec 27, 2011 4:56 PM by Marnee Banks (Helena)

Helena Christmas trees used for fish habitat

Now that Christmas is over, some Helena residents are already taking down their trees.

The City of Helena and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are teaming up to offer an alternative to throwing your tree in the landfill.

Residents can take their trees to the Helena Transfer Station and drop them off at the "Pines For Perch" sign.

FWP will take the trees and use them for fish habitat in Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

Montana FWP Fisheries Technician Adam Strainer says, "We drill a bunch of 1 inch holes through the bases of all the trees. We take steel cable and string all the trees together. Once the ice comes off in early spring we contract a helicopter, they come in, pick the trees up and drop them in the middle of the lake."

Strainer says perch and other small fish are key to the entire food chain at the lake. He says the Christmas trees help create spawning habitat for those fish.

Strainer asks residents to take off all the ornaments, tinsel, and lights before dropping the trees off.

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