Recent Fish Habitat News - fish habitat

A Critical Look At Artificial Fish Habitat:

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A Critical Look At Artificial Fish Habitat:

Posted: 24 Mar 2021 10:56 AM PDT

When considering fish habitat, I think we need to discuss the role artificial fish habitat can serve. They're being used more and more, especially in large southern reservoirs devoid of important structure fish need. Fish managers have traditionally placed bundles of Christmas or cedar trees on the lake bottom to provide cover for fish. Because the lifespan of tree bundles and brush piles is limited, replenishing them has always been an ongoing and expensive process. One advantage of artificial habitat structures that help explain their growing popularity is that they don't decay or deteriorate.

But can “anything” man-made be placed in our waters and be called fish habitat? If we throw a rusty wheelbarrow into a lake today and catch a fish on it next week, can we genuinely say we’ve added fish habitat and therefore improved the lake? Are we unknowingly turning our lakes into landfills or the equivalent of the town dump under the guise of creating fish habitat? Is it really true that any structure of any kind is better than nothing? If you’ve ever wondered if there’s any discernible line between “junk” and authentic fish habitat, you wouldn’t be alone.

If there’s any hope of understanding the potential benefits using artificial fish habitat might offer, I think we need to uncouple two terms: Fish habitat and fishing. Effective fish habitat needs to protect young fish too small to be of interest to anglers. The metric to evaluate how useful fish habitat is must be re-calibrated. The question shouldn’t be how many trophy bass did you catch this year on the habitat, but how many young-of-the year bass survived the brutal gauntlet of their first year of life because of the protection that habitat provided.

It could be argued that the most successful fish habitat would be one that only attracted age 0 fish and was a lousy fishing spot. As anglers, we need to modify our point of view. Fish habitat should be regarded as an investment in the hope of a better day’s fishing in the future, not something with instant payoffs today. If fish habitat isn’t a vehicle for fish recruitment, what good is it?

Today, there isn’t a single designer of any artificial fish habitat that doesn’t promise their product or design will protect young fish. These are merely assertions that haven’t met their burden of proof. These claims must be demonstrated before we have warrant to accept them as true. Where is the evidence that any assemblage of man-made parts and scrap material does anything to help even a single fish survive its first year, let alone to adulthood? So far, Fishiding is the only design that has continuously and consistently documented in hundreds of underwater pictures and videos over the years the efficacy of their product.

If you work in the fish management sector, you should absolutely demand evidence that whatever artificial habitat you’re considering spending resources on legitimately works. As condescending as it may sound, intuition or gut feeling is not evidence. If we’re not more careful about scrutinizing and properly evaluating artificial fish habitat, we run the risk of unknowingly crossing what should be a distinct line between what authentic habitat is and what’s simply junk.

The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat (part 7 of 10) Underwater Video

 Part Seven: The Future of Artificial Fish HabitatIn studying much of the available online literature written about artificial fish habitat, we’ve noticed a curious thing. Often times, the makers of artificial habitat, both the store bought and “homemade” variety, boast about their effectiveness and performance by comparing them to Christmas trees. Using Christmas trees [...]

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The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat-Underwater Video (Part 5 of 10)

Part Five: Location and placement-After design, the single most important aspect of creating successful artificial habitat that fish will use is location. In testing Fishiding habitat, we’ve spent a great deal of time studying placement and there seems to be three obvious but often overlooked tenets that can make the difference between success and failure. [...]

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The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat-Underwater Video (Part 4 of 10)

Part Four: Evaluating Performance-When we’re testing a new model of Fishiding Artificial habitat in a lake setting, we always let the fish make the basic decisions. No matter how much we may like a structure we design, if the fish don’t respond to it, it’s shelved. We’re not interested in deploying constructions that masquerade as [...]

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The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat-Underwater Video (Part 3 of 10)

Part Three: Taking Cues from NatureHuman beings like their world to be tidy, neat, and straight. We mow our lawns to look like the 18th green at Pebble Beach. The rooms in our homes are perfectly rectangular. We even park parallel to each other. On our farms, the corn is planted and grown in flawlessly [...]

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The Science Behind Fishiding Artifical Fish Habitat-Time Lapse Video (Part 1 of 10)

The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat (part 1 of 10):By David Ewald & Eric EngbretsonPart One: How They WorkFishiding Artificial Fish Habitat isn’t designed in and of itself to attract game fish. Instead, its purpose is to provide indispensable cover for juvenile and YOY fish. It’s this congregation of juvenile and forage fish that [...]

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TPWD collaborates on project to improve fish population at Proctor Lake with Fishiding and other products for the fish

Homer: TPWD collaborates on project to improve fish population at Proctor Lake Posted: Yesterday 9:05 p.m.0 CommentsBy Michael Homer Jr., Special to the Reporter-NewsIncreases in water levels are essential for restoring fish habitat and bringing local fisheries back to thriving after a period of prolonged drought. During droughts, fish can lose important habitat, which can render [...]

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​Artificial fish habitat or fish attractors, which do the fish need and why?

First off, let's not continue to confuse fish habitat with fish attractors. There are many substantial differences between the two and what each product is intended for. Both products attract fish, but only true habitat can grow more fish.    Under the Fisheries Act, fish habitat is defined as: “Spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply [...]

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CRU Corner: Rating Fish Habitat Impairment in Our Nation’s Reservoirs

The U.S. Geological Survey Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit surveyed habitat impairment in U.S. reservoirs and developed a tool for rating reservoirs relative to fish habitat status. The habitat ratings provide a measure of the overall habitat impairment status of a reservoir and can be used for rapid assessment and for comparing reservoirs. [...]

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NFWF awards Seneca Nation grant to stabilize shoreline, creating fish habitat across miles of the Allegany Reservoir with Fishiding Habitat

Silt and sedimentation are clogging our nation’s waterways and reservoirs. Years of fluctuating water levels, erosion, development, nutrient loading and decomposition of natural materials, have put these waters in dire need of improvements. Fish habitat, which includes habitat for countless other equally important aquatic organisms, lacks to the degree on many U.S, waters, that no [...]

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