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Fish Sticks and Half-Submerged Logs: Restoring Woody Shorelines

Matthew Rethaber

Oneida County is holding two workshops on the value of maintaining woody habitat along lake shorelines.  

Rosie Page from the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department says fallen trees and branches provide valuable habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife…but that habitat is being greatly reduced. 

“And so the problem is that as our lakes become more and more developed, we as humans tend to remove these trees so we have more space for swimming and boating, and we also remove trees that are along the shoreline, so those trees don’t have a chance to become habitat in the first place.”

Page says restoration projects can be as simple as putting a single log in the water…or as complex as structures of multiple trees, often called fish sticks. 

She says adding back some woody habitat carries large benefits for supporting the wildlife that lake users like to see. 

“We just need to remember that these species need space to carry out their lives as well. People will start to realize that a wilder shore with lots of trees and natural cover is just as valuable as a sandy beach.”

Page says the workshops are targeted at lake groups, individuals with shoreline property, or anyone who’s interested in the topic. 

The workshops are July 17th at the Kemp Natural Resource Station in Woodruff, and July 24th at the Reiter Center in Three Lakes. 

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