A project that began a year ago on Waupaca’s Shadow Lake is being enhanced this spring.
Earlier this month, city crews placed four groups of trees on the lake and then several days later anchored them into place.
The project seeks to create habitat for young fish, turtles and birds along the lake’s shore.
“We’re beefing up the three that were done last year,” said Parks and Recreation Director Aaron Jenson.
Known as “fish sticks,” the habitat project requires a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
In 2014, the city received a fish sticks permit for a five-year period, which means area residents may see additional trees dropped on the lake, Jenson said.
The 12 trees the city used this year are from the cemetery.
Since the trees had oak wilt, they were scheduled to be removed from the cemetery and were thus good candidates for the project, he said.
Jenson said the trees on the lake’s shore are meant to harbor and provide a habitat for young fish.
“It’s not meant to be a fish crib,” he said. “There are projects called fish cribs. We might do that in the future, where you drop trees in higher depths. They would not be visible. That would be more where fishermen would want to be. Those trees have to be at least six feet below the surface of the water.”
Trees used for fish sticks projects are for shallow areas of lakes and have to be about 20 feet from the shoreline, Jenson said.
Information about the project and its benefits is currently in the kiosk by the boat landing.
Plans call for informational signs to be added there, as well as by Bowersox Park, he said.
The benefits of the project include providing cover for fish, as well as a source of food for them.
Some species, such as yellow perch, use a tree for spawning.
When there are trees near a shoreline, turtles crawl up on a log and use it for sunning, which is something some area residents witnessed last year.
Herons also like the habitats, because they are able to stand on a log and pick off their food.
Jenson said those who live on Mirror Lake also hope to see fish sticks on that lake, too.
Residents of the lake and the Friends of Waupaca Mirror and Shadow Lakes applied for a permit from the DNR and are waiting to hear back, he said.
Since it is a separate lake, there had to be a separate application, Jenson said.