COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (TNN) - Lake Ellsworth has a better fish habitat, thanks to a project done by local Eagle Scouts.
The spider blocks made out of cinder blocks, concrete, and pipes, act as a man-made coral reef. They will provide safety for the fish for many decades to come.
Sam Lindsey, and a couple of other Eagle Scouts with Troop 4008, built 40 spider blocks for Lake Ellsworth.
“It didn’t really take too long, because we had all the pipes we had gotten cut up," said Lindsey. "All we had to do was lay it out, mix the concrete, and put it in, and then we had to let it dry for a couple of days.”
Lindsey said when he was looking for an Eagle Scout project, he new he wanted to do something original while also helping the environment.
“I wanted to do something unique that would last, because a lot of kids, like a lot of people my troop, have done just benches, and I didn’t want to do another bench or another something that would just be looked at, or not even used," said Lindsey. "I wanted to do something that was unique.”
On Monday, Sam and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife dropped the spider blocks in different spots around the lake. Spider blocks and Christmas trees are often added to lakes to provide a safe space for all species of fish to inhabit. But spider blocks last decades, while Christmas trees last around five years.
“One of the main benefits for spider blocks is that you don’t have to replace these every three or four years like you would a cedar tree," said Clayton Porter, fish biologist with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife. "These guys will stay around a long time. They’re easy to fish around. You won’t get hung up with your fishing tackle quite so often, and it’s a really good place to take kids to fish for some of their first times and a lot of species of fish occupy these spider blocks we put out.”
Porter said Lindsey’s project has been a big help to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.
“We like that Sam made the effort to reach out to us and he wants to be involved with conservation, as well as fishing, which is a win-win for us," said Porter. "It spreads our message. It helps us with providing habitat for the fish, as well as provides an opportunity for our anglers. So, this was a great opportunity to work with Sam and other Eagle Scouts for this opportunity.”
Lindsey’s original project goal was to complete 100 spider blocks. He hopes to achieve that goal within the next two months.