Kentucky energy companies are providing Kentucky Fish and Wildlife biologists with materials to more efficiently create artificial fish habitats.
Atmos Energy Company is partnering with district biologists in far-western Kentucky to provide recycled plastic pipes to be used as ‘fish attractors’ - or artificial reefs in Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. KFW Regional Coordinator Paul Rister says treetops and Christmas trees have been used as fish habitats in the past, but says natural resources are limited.
“And while that natural stuff is great and actually draws in fish really well, it’s limited in life because it decomposes, we’re trying to be kind of creative and make some habitat structures that the fish can use,” said Rister.
Rister says Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley were built more than 50 years ago and the natural habitats have deteriorated away.
"They also need a place to go where they hide and feed... The areas where the fish have inhabited is just a void mudslide so what we have done it years past is go an sink treetops, which is limited," said Rister.
Other energy companies throughout the state have adopted similar partnerships with local departments.