The Lake Petit trout have a new place to call home.
Read Fernandez, a 15-year-old Eagle scout living in Big Canoe, has created six habitats to protect young fish in Lake Petit. On Tuesday, May 31, he coordinated with Marina staff to have him and several of his fellow scouts from Troop 20 place homemade habitats into the lake.
Read built the habitats as part of his Eagle Scout service project. He was inspired by the ongoing tradition of scouts placing discarded Christmas trees into Lake Petit to create temporary fish habitats.
The new habitats constructed by Read are primarily designed for the smaller fish and younger rainbow trout to have a place where they can hunt for prey or hide from the larger fish.
Constructed from PVC pipe, the habitats resemble giant asterisks that are as large as 5-foot-6-inches in diameter. Read made them the PVC pile as it does not degrade or harm aquatic life.
If you’re worried about accidentally bumping into one of these in your next foray onto the lake, the habitats will be under no less than 15 feet of water and weighed down to ensure they don’t come into contact with boats and swimmers.
To avoid having anglers accidentally hook a habitat, the pipes that serve as “arms” are slick enough and slanted upward to reduce any chance of a fish hook catching onto them. On the off chance someone does snag one, the habitat can move back and forth enough to allow the hook to free itself.
Read didn’t come up with this design all at once. It took a few tries before he got it right, he says.
“The original design looked much more like pine trees than the final design,” he says.
“When it became evident the original pine-tree design wasn’t going to work, I researched and learned about these circular urchin-like bases. They are used in a lot of backyard fisheries. They only came with the bases. I designed the arm lengths on my own.”
From all of us at the POA office, we congratulate Read for finishing the final step before becoming an Eagle Scout!
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