This is my photo submission for the GreenFish and Outdoor Blogger Network Photo Contest.
The subject of this "photo prompt" is to illustrate my view on sustainable fishing. I have 4 categories I'd like to address, each in a separate entry.
The second category illustrating sustainable fishing is Habitat Improvement.
In central Iowa, many of the public lakes are man-made. Many were made for flood-control or erosion control (trapping sediments), and not for fishing. So, most of the lakes have very little in the way of natural cover or structure to attract fish, just flat featureless lake bottoms.
Most species of Iowa gamefish like to associate with some sort of structure. Structure serves as a substrate for algae to grow, and aquatic nymphs, snails and young fish feed on this. Those in turn serve as food for larger fish. Larger fish also use structure not only as an ambush spot and "feeding station", but also for shelter. So structure is very important to fish. More structure = more food= more fish. From a fishing standpoint, knowing the location of suitable structure is often the key to locating and catching fish.
I'm a Member of Central Iowa Anglers (CIA). I spent 2 years serving as elected President of the organization, and am in my 2nd term serving on its Board of Directors. One of the goals of CIA is to improve fish habitat in local waters. We work in close association with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), City of West Des Moines, and others.
Over the past several years, we have added fish habitat structure to a number of lakes. We've constructed and placed "PVC Trees", cedar trees, catfish nesting tubes, trash can reefs, and wood pallet "teepees". In many cases, fish use of these structures begins within a single day!
Here's some pictures of CIA doing some of our Habitat Improvement projects: