Braidwood Station, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and local anglers teamed up to place 90 artificial fish habitats into Braidwood Lake to improve the environment for fish.
The fish habitat structures – a combination of plastic and PVC pipe – sink to the bottom of the lake where they collect algae and plankton. Fish acclimate to the structures, congregating near them in schools during spawning season.
Since 2007 Exelon has paid to place more than nearly 1,200 of these artificial fish habitats into Braidwood Lake. The lake was formed for cooling the power plant. High water temperatures created by plant operations makes it difficult for vegetation to grow naturally in the lake. The fish habitat structures help compensate for the lack of vegetation by providing the fish a place to congregate, said Rob Miller, IDNR fisheries biologist.
Rob Miller and Jeff Wepprecht, our IDNR partners, stand alongside a boat filled with artificial fish habitats.
"Fish will utilize this habitat at various stages of their lives from a place of refuge for young fish to a place to feed when they become larger," Miller said. "This project has provided a habitat fish are drawn to and has resulted in better fishing at Braidwood Lake since the program began. We are grateful to have a partner like Exelon willing to put resources behind an effort like this that benefits everyone who visits Braidwood Lake and improves the environment for the fish."
The event garnered news coverage in the Morris, Joliet and Braidwood newspapers.
Pictured below is the group from Exelon, IDNR and local bass clubs that helped line Braidwood Lake with habitats Monday.