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The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat: (Part 9 of 10)

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Part Nine: Modular Habitat Complexes as Large as City Blocks

As we better understand how to create and assemble habitat components that work best together, we now also see the need to scale the overall complex size accordingly. Habitat installations are vulnerable to all kinds of unique forces underwater. Installation of multiple habitat pieces in one collected group, is now the accepted best practice. Especially in public waters, it can be difficult keeping these individually weighted components all together on the lake floor. Fishing pressure, strong currents, and weather events are just a few causes that can move habitat. To properly install vast amounts of fish habitat and have it permanently remain in a group, a fully engineered and pre-weighted modular attachment system was needed. It also needed to be simple to use, requiring no special equipment, tools or experience. Finally, to improve effectiveness and cost, the habitat needed to be larger, taller and heavier than anything previously considered or produced. These are the factors that shaped the decisions that lead to the design of the new Modular Habitat Mats by

Although many different prototypes, designs and sizes of these new mat configurations have been created, none had yet been installed into any of our test waters. As decisions were being made regarding final product sizes, weights and models to begin to offer, a call came in from Laura Salamun, the owner of Point View Resort on the famous Lake of the Ozarks. “Fishing is our thing and it’s important to our resort guests”, she told us. “We want to have them catching fish non-stop, all year long.” This was just the challenge we needed to assess the full scale delivery, assembly and installation of 20 different mats of various configurations. This was a perfect opportunity to test the new Habitat Mats against many of the key metrics: This is a fishing resort with almost constant fishing pressure from shore to over 25 feet off three different floating docks. It’s located on a large public reservoir with stiff current, substantial slope, year-round boating pressure and unpredictable weather events.

A customized layout and set of habitat plans were designed and approved to best accommodate the resort guests and their favorite fishing areas. Mats were specifically designed, selected and placed in spots that would best serve the present fish species. Would our delivery, assembly and installation work as planned?

We had put the time in underwater studying the fish. By scuba diving and recording their interaction with various habitat materials over years, we knew the fish would gravitate into the newly designed complex and stay. The 20 individual mats, habitat models and supplies were shipped down and carried by hand onto the floating docks for assembly and placement. Some mats were completely finished and ready to slide into the water, while others had additional habitat materials attached to them on site to create even more complexity. No cable, rope, wood or brush was used, keeping the entire system snag-free and long lasting.

Today’s video highlights the ease and scale of the Habitat Mat installation at Point View Resort with 20 separate, single level Mats. In the near future, these Mats will be installed in an array of considerably larger sizes, and unique shapes that will weigh thousands of pounds combined. Mats will be stacked into multiple three dimensional layers, creating permanent rooms, tunnels and floors, all built solely for fish habitation. Imagine a kind of underwater housing boom including roadways, parks, grocery stores and schools. Modular complexes each a city block in size and two or three stories tall. Islands of cover linked together for relaxing, hunting or hiding. A fish oasis. Fishiding.

Designing and building effective fish habitat is a genuine science. It’s still in its infancy, but we’re learning a great deal every day about the nuances of design and deployment. With today’s deep interest in artificial fish habitat, we’re eager to share our findings with fisheries professionals who want to learn more.

If you’ve missed any part of this series you can catch up at For more information contact David Ewald at Phone: (815) 693-0894 Email:

The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat (Part 10 of 10)

Part Ten: Putting it all together-Top takeaways from our ten part series: Protection is the key: If the habitat structures are designed and installed in a way that don’t reduce the attack to capture ratio, they provide no benefit for forage species and consequently won’t hold any fish at all. Effective fish habitat must [...]

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The Science Behind Fishiding Artificial Fish Habitat (Part 8 of 10)

Part Eight: A Revolutionary New Design In recent years, many new types of artificial fish habitat and various fish attractor styles have been installed from coast to coast. State agency fish managers and the fisheries industry as a whole, are using them to strategically enhance cover where natural habitat is at a premium. [...]

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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-Time Lapse Video (Part 6 of 10):

Part Six: How to determine if your habitat is working-Over the last decade, artificial fish habitat has been placed in hundreds of waters from coast to coast, but astonishingly there has been little evidence provided that they live up to the claims made by their installers. We continue to ask, where are all the pictures, [...]

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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-Time Lapse Video (Part 2 of 10)

Part 2Part Two: IntegrationThere’s no such thing as a single artificial habitat that does it all. That’s why Fishiding habitat comes in various and many different design models. Each habitat model is conceived to achieve a specific purpose or to serve in a specific range of depth. In this time-lapse video, you see several of [...]

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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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AZGFD’s habitat enhancements with Fishiding habitat gets green light to begin installations

A return to glory: AZGFD’s habitat enhancements coming to Salt River-chain lakesPosted in: News Media Aug 9, 2016:  Fish take protection in underwater structure.This fall, the Arizona Game and Fish Department plans to use a crane on a 36-foot pontoon boat to sink fish habitat -- critical to anglers’ fishing opportunities -- into lakes along the [...]

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