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Department Builds Fish Habitat at Cunningham Falls

Reused Materials Restore Spawning and Feeding Areas

Photo of staff deploying fish habitat made from recycled materials

Staff deploy fish habitat made from recycled materials into Hunting Creek Lake.

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. 

Staff and volunteers construct a fish habitat.

Staff and volunteers construct a fish habitat.

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.

Habitat construction and installation is expected to continue into the spring.

These habitats are constructed under the guidance of department fish biologists to assure they are acceptable to this specific use. The public should never discard materials into state waters.


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