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October 13, 1999

For more information contact:
Hugh Carberry at 609-629-4950

New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife biologists and Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers recently added 40 artificial fish habitat structures in the Department of Defense (D.O.D) Lake in Penns Grove, Salem County. These structures will provide additional habitat for fish and other forms of aquatic life in the 120-acre lake.

"Freshwater artificial habitat structures have been used very successfully in other states," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "The pyramid-shaped structures have a large surface area that provides cover and hiding places for young fish. This, in turn, attracts predatory fish, such as largemouth bass and black crappie, making it a very tempting spot for fishermen."

The structures are three feet wide by four feet high and were built around a pyramid-shaped chassis constructed of welded steel rods. Branches from hardwood trees, such as oaks and maples, were attached to this infrastructure with stainless steel wire. The structures were weighted with two 25-pound cinderblocks and dropped overboard at predetermined locations.

Fishing sites were created in the impoundment for boaters and anglers. Boating sites were designed with depths ranging from 15 to 20 feet. Shoreline sites have depths between five and six feet and are within casting distance.

A unique feature of the pyramidal structures is that they are retrievable. Although hardwoods are being attached to attract aquatic life, this material will decompose in two to three years. Following this period, the chassis will be retrieved and brought back to the surface. Additional hardwood branches will then be attached and the structure will be deployed again.

A map of the sites with GPS coordinates is available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: D.O.D Lake Map, NJ Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife, Southern Region Office, 220 New Brooklyn/Blue Anchor Road, Sicklerville, NJ 08081.