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Volunteers needed to build habitat structures at Monroe Lake

You can help make Monroe Lake a better place for fish during a special volunteer day on May 19.

The volunteer day is part of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Reservoir Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Program (RAHEP). RAHEP builds fish habitat in reservoirs where natural structure is lacking.

Volunteers will assemble more than 50 wooden structures from pallets that will give fish a place to live and hide from predator fish, according to program coordinator and southern fisheries research biologist Sandy Clark-Kolaks.

The work day runs from 9 to 11 a.m. at the DNR office at 5596 E. State Road 46, Bloomington.

Monroe Lake is a nearly 11,000-acre reservoir near Bloomington. It was chosen for the program due to the property’s strong partnerships with local entities. This is the first of several volunteer days planned for this year at Monroe Lake, with an overall goal of building 200 structures.

DNR fisheries biologists will place the structures on the lake bed during summer and fall. Once the structures have been placed, maps will be created to show the GPS coordinates, depth and structure type. These maps will be available to the public.

Volunteers should dress for working outside and bring snacks and water, protective eyewear, gloves and cordless drills. Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance at wildlife.IN.gov/8301.htm. Unregistered walk-in volunteers are welcome, too.