SAVANNAH, Ga. – 'Tis the season for Christmas tree recycling at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hartwell Lake. From Dec. 26 through Feb. 15, the Corps will collect used, natural Christmas trees (no artificial trees) for use as fish attractors throughout Hartwell Lake.
The trees will be tied in bundles, weighted with concrete anchors, and submerged in various locations marked with fish attractor buoys.
“By recycling used Christmas trees in Hartwell Lake, we provide cover for fish and enhance nursery habitat for juvenile fish,” said Corps Natural Resources Specialist Jess Fleming. “The trees are also beneficial to aquatic insects, which are essential food for most fish species.”
Christmas trees can be dropped off at the following locations. Please note that all ornaments, decorations and tinsel must be removed before drop-off.
• Big Oaks Recreation Area (Hart County, Ga.), located on U.S. Hwy. 29, one mile past the Hartwell Dam.
• Twin Lakes boat ramp (Pickens County, S.C.) From Interstate 85 in South Carolina, take exit 14, Hwy 187 going north toward Pendleton, S.C. Immediately after passing the Clemson Research Center, turn left on Fant's Grove Road. Follow signs to park.
• Coneross boat ramp (Coneross Park, S.C.) From Interstate 85 in South Carolina, take exit 11 on Hwy 24 toward Townville. 1.5 miles past Townville, turn right onto Coneross Creek Road. Follow signs to park entrance.
• Poplar Springs boat ramp (Franklin County, Ga.) From Lavonia, Ga., where Georgia Hwy 328 crosses Interstate 85, go north on Hwy 328 for 3.5 miles, then follow signs to Poplar Springs.
Trees can be picked up by fishermen any time for personal use until Feb. 15 at any of these locations.
Trees should be anchored in eight-to-twelve feet of water. Trees are prohibited from being placed in the main lake channel or around private docks.
Trees can also be dropped off from Dec. 26 through Jan. 15 at Mount Lebanon Elementary School in Pendleton, S.C. The school is located at 2850 Lebanon Rd. The drop-off area will be roped off near the entrance to the school.
The Corps' Hartwell Lake Office has held an annual Christmas tree recycling program for more than 20 years. Last year, they collected 180 trees.
For more information, contact the Hartwell Lake Manager’s Office toll free 1-888-893-0678. For a list of fish attractor locations and GPS coordinates, visit: http://1.usa.gov/1iA49Xj