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RI Groups Seek Christmas Trees to Aid in River Restoration Projects

By Tom Richardson

In partnership with Trout Unlimited Rhode Island Chapter, the Rhode Island Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) will be collecting old Christmas trees on January 8 for upcoming projects to restore river habitats by reducing erosion and creating refuge habitat for fish, turtles  and other aquatic organisms.

So-called “Conifer Revetment” helps restore rivers that have become wide and shallow due to flooding and storms. The trees are strategically installed to reduce erosion, provide refuge habitat, and stabilize stream banks. Drop-offs will be held Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Arcadia Check Station (Rte 165, Ten Rod Road, Exeter), between 9am-2pm. (No synthetic trees, trees with tinsel/other synthetic materials still attached, or trees sprayed with fire retardant chemicals.)

New this year, Trees for Trout can be a family fun day. At the tree drop-off location within the Arcadia Check Station, DEM staff along with TU volunteers are offering fly tying lessons for beginners (all equipment and materials provided) at 9am, 10am, noon and 1:00 pm. Introduction to freshwater fishing/fly fishing is being offered at 11am and 2pm, in addition to youth indoor fishing activities such as magnetic fishing and a species identification game being offered throughout the day.