Crews from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources this winter helped expand fish habitat in Cunningham Falls State Park’s Hunting Creek Lake.
Staff joined with the Maryland Conservation Corps to help construct the artificial habitat using upcycling debris and recycled materials found around the park, including PVC tubing, rubber garden hoses, wooden pallets, and five-gallon buckets filled with cement.
“These habitat structures attract baitfish, which in turn attract larger fish,” Ranger Travis Watts said. “They can be very productive locations for anglers.”
Last fall, construction crews had to draw down the water level in order to re-grade the lake’s sandy beach area and remove a berm. Once the water levels were reduced, park staff noticed an absence of structure along the edges of the lake which means the fish had no areas to spawn, hide, or feed.
By providing artificial habitat along the perimeter of the lake, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources can ensure that the fish have what they need to thrive.
The park plans to provide GPS coordinates of the new structures for park visitors so anglers can map where fish will more likely be located. It will also provide a reference for boaters.
Habitat construction and installation is expected to continue into the spring.