Thefts reduce trees for new fish habitat

Months after people received presents from under the trees, the trees themselves became presents for fish.

But, thanks to the thoughtless acts of a few people, there won’t be as much new habitat as there could be.

The combined efforts of the Kinzua Fish and Wildlife Association, the Allegheny National Forest, and an ANF prison crew from FCI-McKean, resulted in hundreds of Christmas trees tied to cinder blocks being submerged at various locations around the Allegheny Reservoir.

Trees were put in at Sugar Bay, Kinzua Bay, Red Bridge, and Dewdrop, according to Bob Boyer of Kinzua Fish and Wildlife.

They will provide cover for young fish and spawning grounds for some species.

“Without these trees, there’s not going to be any habitat for the fish,” volunteer Pauline Bauer said. “There won’t be any fish without them.”

Originally, 236 trees were collected in Warren and taken to Kinzua Bay just south of Kinzua Beach.

Several of those had to be moved to another location and 198 were placed across Kinzua Bay from the beach.

“We had 86 trees from Bradford at Sugar Bay,” Boyer said. “Somebody burned 43 of them – a huge bonfire.”

“We had a bunch of trees at Dunkle Corners (near Chappel Bay),” he said. “They burned up ten of them.”

Kinzua Fish and Wildlife members had also taken bundles of wood to several locations in preparation for repairing porcupine cribs – another habitat structure placed in the reservoir.

“I had three bundles of wood at Red Bridge and three bundles at Dewdrop,” Boyer said. “Somebody stole all six.”