How to build a pond for happy fish

If you own or manage a body of water that has lost a considerable portion of its natural fish habitat, you will likely find yourself looking to build a fish attractor. Because fish habitat structures allow local species to seek shelter or cover, find food, and create a spawning environment, they are vital to the health and success of local organisms. Fish attractors help provide the same benefit in an area where a natural habitat has been destroyed. However, if you are looking to build a fish attractor, you likely have a number of questions: most importantly, how do you build one of these implements?

A number of different materials and designs are used to build fish attractors. These structures each have their own benefits and detriments, and are typically chosen due to cost, durability, availability and other factors.

  • Brush–While usually easy to find, brush can be difficult to handle and deteriorates quickly. Because brush must be properly secured to keep it from floating away, the design typically includes a wire clothesline, concrete blocks, or other objects to keep the structure submerged.
  • Pine Trees– Many communities use old Christmas trees, left over from the holiday season, to attract fish, due to their obvious availability. The trees can be submerged using buckets filled with concrete, but like brush, these trees will deteriorate quickly.
  • Tires–Used tires are often available in large numbers, inexpensive, and easy to assemble. They also will not decompose or harm the environment. Typically, tires will be drilled to release the air and tied together. One tire will then be filled with concrete to sink them. However, if not properly submerged, the tires can break free and cause significant damage to the area as they wash ashore.
  • Stake Beds–This option is typically used to concentrate crappie. The materials, which includes lumber and concrete blocks, are easy to find but can be costly. They also require some skill to build, as designs usually involve constructing a wooden bed, upright posts, and weighting the contraption down with concrete. However, the design is more durable than the other options.
  • Car Bodies–While car bodies have previously been used in saltwater environments, their use in freshwater environments is debatable. Before being installed, they must be stripped and steam cleaned to remove grease and oil. They are bulky and require special equipment to be put in place, making them a questionable choice for most private and public freshwater environments.

If you are looking to build a fish attractor, you must carefully consider your budget, the materials available in your area, and the realities of each structure before making a decision. In some cases, you may even find it preferable to buy a professionally-designed fish structure to meet the needs of your area in a durable, functional, safe way. Discuss your project with local fishery experts and fish attractor manufacturers today to help your decision.

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