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Fish Habitat Volunteer Day at Cecil M. Harden (Raccoon) Lake
Indiana Ag Connection - 10/10/2017

Help make Cecil M. Harden Lake a better place for fish during a special volunteer day, Nov. 4.

The volunteer day is part of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife's Reservoir Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Program (RAHEP). RAHEP builds fish habitat in reservoirs where natural structure is lacking.

Volunteers will help assemble 100 wooden structures that will give fish a place to live and hide from predator fish, according to program coordinator and southern fisheries research biologist Sandy Clark-Kolaks.

The work day runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DNR office in Raccoon State Recreation Area.

"Volunteers and partners have played a large role in planning this project, including organizing labor and obtaining materials," Clark-Kolaks said.

Partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bass Unlimited, Indiana Bass Federation and Cash Concrete in Greencastle.

Cecil M. Harden Lake, aka Raccoon Lake, is a 2,060-acre reservoir near Rockville. It was chosen for the program due to the lake's lack of aquatic vegetation and the property's strong partnerships with local entities.

DNR and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers staff will place the structures on the lake bed during the winter drawdown. Once the structures have been placed, maps will be created to show the GPS coordinates, depth and structure type. These maps will be available to the public.

Volunteers should dress for working outside and bring snacks and water, protective eyewear, gloves and cordless drills.

"This will be an informal event, where people can come and go as they need," Clark-Kolaks said. "Even if people can only help out for an hour we would be happy to have them."

For more information about RAHEP, visit wildlife.IN.gov/7665.htm.

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