19th CES, USFWS conduct Fish Habitat Project

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sarah Ortega Corona
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental flight teamed up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct a fish habitat project at the base lake on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 25-29, 2023.

The project involved installing three types of rock habitats and four different types of artificial habitats to help create a more flourishing fishery and improve fishing in the base lake area.

“These structures are intended to be fish habitats that will hopefully attract fish to specific areas to hide, forage, and spawn,” said Carice Kimbrell, USFWS wildlife biologist.

Not only does the project aim to improve marine life in the lake, but it also makes fishing more predictable.

“Some of the artificial habitat has soft reeds that float closer to the surface, which will also encourage bass to hang out in places a little more accessible for fishermen,” Kimbrell said. “We’ll eventually release a map of structure placement on RecAccess, which is our sportsmen website, that will both give fishermen new ideas for fishing spots and hopefully also give us feedback on how successful our structures are.”

Additionally, Kimbrell said the artificial structures are made from recycled materials which will attract fish in the area to a safe space for them to thrive.

“We’re creating this fish habitat to improve recreational fishing at the big base lake,” said Chris Davidson, USFWS acting field supervisor. “There’s several different structures that we’re creating, such as, rock mounds, shelter, and rock structures that create cavities to help support a more robust fishery.”

Members of the 19th CES environmental flight believe that their hard work and dedication will positively impact Team Little Rock and bring the base community together.

“I believe that what we do is important because it helps Airmen in some way enjoy the outdoors by coming out here to fish,” said Seth Fisher, 19th CES natural and cultural resource program manager. “If this project can increase their chances of catching a fish, or their kids catching a fish, then we definitely want to do that while at the same time helping this fishery develop.”