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

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

Posted by Ewald/Engbretson on 20th Jun 2019

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: