Bizarre-looking contraptions made of plastic pipes, vinyl and concrete are dropping into Arizona lakes in an effort to create new places for fish to hang out -- and fishermen to catch them.
“Places where these have been used, the fish love it," said David Weedman, the Aquatic Habitat Program Manager for the Arizona Game & Fish Department.
“The big fish will be attracted to the little fish hanging around them and we can map all the places where we put these and give those coordinates to the anglers.”
Since 2011, Weedman says fluctuating water levels in several man-made Arizona lakes has caused natural vegetation to degrade and fish populations -- specifically of bass and crappie -- to decline. These new habitats offer a place for fish to gather, hide, spawn and prey. Crews have already started dropping the vinyl fish 'high-rise' and 'Georgia dome' cubes in Roosevelt Lake. Game & Fish expects nearly 200 of them to be below the surface by the end of the year. They will also be placed in other central state lakes, including Saguaro and Bartlett.
“We can build them, we can move them, install them without too much effort,” Weedman said.
The goal for the department is to protect and propel sport fishing through future decades for visitors to enjoy.
“We want them to have a good time — we want them to buy licenses, we want them to go fish, we want them to have fun, we want them to bring their kids out and show their kids how much fun fishing is.”