Lake Lanier Receives New Fish Habitat

775 maidencane plants and 10 bald cypress trees were just planted in Limestone Creek.

Mike Bolton | October 4, 2022

WRD Fisheries planted 775 maidencane plants and 10 bald cypress trees in Limestone Creek on Lake Lanier.

Limestone Creek has a new look thanks to WRD’s Gainesville and Burton Fisheries’ staff. Crews planted 775 maidencane plants and 10 bald cypress trees that will prevent bank erosion, provide areas for spawning, hiding places for juvenile fish and foraging habitat. The new additions are also expected to provide nutrients to the water.

“With the age of some of our older reservoirs like Lake Lanier, the natural structure is gone,” said Chris Harper, the assistant chief of WRD’s Fisheries section. “Not only will these plantings help reduce erosion, they will also provide a lot of good areas for juvenile fish to hide out until they get older. Maidencane is grassy and provides a lot of structure. It will also help attract terrestrial animals and insects.

“The bald cypress trees will eventually grow knees and that along with their roots provide good areas for juvenile fish to hide from predators.”

The Fisheries section grows approximately 14,000 maidencane plants annually in its greenhouses in Walden in Bibb County, he said.

The USDA promotes maidencane as an excellent plant for use in shoreline stabilization. It has a rapid growth rate and forms a dense stand that extends from shallow water, up the bank as far as moisture permits. The plant is capable of reducing waves and trapping suspended sediment. Its network of roots anchors the soil and traps sediments in place.

The bald cypress is a large, slow-growing tree with a long life. It grows to heights of 35 to 120 feet and has a trunk diameter of 3 to 6 feet. The main trunk is typically surrounded by cypress knees that gives the tree stabilization in wet environments.

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