The City of Northwood dropped 35 Christmas trees into the lake at Ranger Park last week to provide shelter to smaller fish from predators.
Mayor Mark Stoner said the city had wanted to do it last year, but decided against it.
“I don’t think the ice was safe to be on,” he said.
The streets department, he said, bore holes along the periphery of the lake where it is approximately eight feet deep to put in the trees. A cement block is attached to each tree. As the ice melts, the trees will sink in the water.
The trees are expected to last for about two years before disintegrating.
Stoner said the trees and cement blocks will give more structure to the lake.
“There’s not much at the bottom of the lake right now,” he said. “No rocks or reefs that provide protection for smaller fish or fish eggs. There are large rocks around the perimeter, which you can see fish swim away from as you approach it.”
The city stocked the lake about two years ago with perch, bass and bluegill. The lake is open for fishing in the summer, but regulations call for catch and release of the fish.
John Hageman, a fisheries biologist at Ohio State University, told Stoner that smaller fish need protection from larger fish to help keep the pond stocked. Hageman helped stock the pond and has advised the city on how to maintain it.
A depth finder last week indicated the lake is 47 feet deep, said Stoner.
Christmas trees usually are dropped off at the curb by residents after Christmas. The city picks them up and deposits them in the landfill, said Stoner.
This year, the city wanted to recycle the trees and use them in an environmentally friendly way, he said.
The Street Department also dropped a pile of trees in Nature Trails Park to provide similar shelter for small animals.
City council in 2007 passed an ordinance to develop the city owned property into a park at I-280 and Curtice Road.
The lake was created by contractors moving soil for construction of the Curtice Road overpass about 12 years ago.