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RoLo

Manmade Reef Materials?

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My home lake was the epicenter of all 3 hurricanes during 2004 (Charley, Frances & Jeanne).

The dynamic trio literally annihilated the offshore hydrilla beds that used to grow in 8.5-ft deep water.

This forced the largemouth population to disperse along shoreline vegetation and bulrush islands.

I've decided to construct a manmade reef which I'll locate on pre-selected GPS coordinates.

I'd really appreciate your help with respect to the best trees, objects and materials to use

for constructing the reef. It would be best if the materials used would satisfy a few requirements:

1. Small enough to be transported in a 16-ft center-console

2. Heavy enough to stay in place on bottom during a squall

3. Long-lasting and not given to rapid decomposition

4. Whatever else I forget to consider

Any and all input will be truly appreciated, and something we all stand to benefit from.

Roger

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This is what we are making.

materials:

PVC-1" and 4"

rocks (bowling ball size)

cement

3'l x 3'w x 1'h box (we just use cardboard)

build whatever size trees you want (ours will each have 2 "T" arms, like a cross with an extra cross member) with 4" pvc and then have someone hold in place "planted" in the boxes.

put rocks in

also cut 1" pvc to lengths if 2-5 ft tall and strategically wedge in between rocks.

Fill rest of box with cement.

Won't hurt environment, will eventually cover in bio-life, will not snag hooks

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This is a design that I found a while back but haven't tried. It can be made from PVC, ceder, scrap lumber. If you build more then one they can be wired together then sunk with cinderblocks to form a reef. An old pallet also can be used for the bottoms. The uprights about 2' tall on 12" centers. Since there are no horizontal pieces you are supposed to be able to fish thru it and a little hard to see with electronics if you don't know it's there, unless it's loaded with fish.

Pictures%2FDrawing3.JPG

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Hey this is GREAT LBH, I like it already :o8-):o

If I'm following you, the 3'x3'x1' cardboard box is the cement form,

the 4 PVC pipe provides the tree limbs and the 1 PVC simulates

vertical growth.

I do have a couple questions:

1. About how heavy is the whole deal with the cement and rocks?

2. Is there a good way to lower the reef to assure that it sits upright?

3. About how long would you expect it to take for algae and barnacles to form

and for fish to establish residence?

Roger

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This is a design that I found a while back but haven't tried. It can be made from PVC, ceder, treated lumber. If you build more then one they can be wired together then sunk with cinderblocks to form a reef. An old pallet also can be used for the bottoms. The uprights about 2' tall on 12" centers. Since there are no horizontal pieces you are supposed to be able to fish thru it and a little hard to see with electronics if you don't know it's there, unless it's loaded with fish.

Muddpuppy,

That's an interesting design...no fish, no show.

I do like the idea of cinder blocks, which offer a bunch of caverns

and also pressure-treated lumber which has a natural texture.

Roger

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I'm sure you could use this Bass Pro product as inspiration and build it yourself...

http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=73759&hvarTarget=search&cmCat=SearchResults

Also, Bass Pro has an article about sinking Crappie Cover...it gives you an idea about types of woods/trees to use if you go that route.

http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.CFPage?mode=article&objectID=28881

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Well RoLo I would say: you are only limited by your imagination and the weight of your "reef". If you are using the pvc idea remember to drill holes through it here and there, and I would also a rough grit peice of sand paper and run it over the pvc to rough it up, this will help to speed up and stimulate algae growth on your reef. Keep in mind the type of pvc you use, composite has air bubbles, but is cheaper. for the bottom structure I would go with like 3 inch pvc and fill it with mortor mix, not quik krete and use reducers to like 2" or 1 1/2" pvc for the rest of the structure. I would put that bottom 3" pvc through the cinder blocks. Good Luck,

Peter

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NO PRESSURE TREATED LUMBER!!

Contains many harmful chemicals such as cianide and creosol which will emit fom this lumber for yrs and yrs.

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Rolo, when Fork was built, they cleared most timber from the front of the dam.   They constructed tire reefs in those areas.   A few well place holes in the tires and they sink fine.    They meet all requirements you mentioned.   Old tires are easy to come by.

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I strongly agree with Low budget hooker in that the treated lumber will have alot of chemicals leaching off into the water but will the tires do the same thing? Will the tires have chemicals leaching out into the water also? I think that the tires as a structure would do great if you put one on its side and one standing up in it. I still support the pvc method over the others I have heard.

Roger, have you considered using some of the smaller types of artifical reefs used off shore in the Gulf? If memory serves they have all sizes and there is little chance of them being moved in a squal. Although here weight is an issue, I am guessing that you could find young volunteers with a strong back so that you can sit back, pop a top, and supervise! The state of Florida has some of the most extensive number of private made reefs. I would at least look into this if you have not done so already, of course knowing you, you have.

Whatever way you decide to go, post some pictures of what you decide to put down please sir.

Peter

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After doing a little investigation on the subject I have come pretty much to the same conclusion and will change it to "scrap lumber" instead. I entered that from memory so it may / maynot have been suggested originally. Creosolt has been band here for years for agricultural uses and never was an option, some types of treated wood do seem to be more toxic then others from what I found and the newer ones at least allowable for incendental contact for use in water ways like pilings on bridges, docks boat houses. Although no manufacture that I checked comes out and says it isn't safe, they do issue some cautions on it's use, so it's use might not be recomended for building a fish habitat. It also retards alge growth wich would attract smaller fish. With it's extensive use for piers and docks I never even thought about it when posting. Sorry Rolo for the misinformation :-[

I know other's that have used tires and say they work good, but I'll refrain from recomending anything, right now. It seems like Tyler Lake might have used them too, when there was a habitat problem.

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Well, PVC tubing, cement blocks and poured cement will definitely be part of the monstrosity,

but I did rule out treated-lumber. As Pete suggested, I'll pop some random holes in the PVC pipe

to create some more nooks for the watery creatures.

I Iike Matt's tire idea, which I know they use extensively for saltwater reefs in New Jersey.

But since I live in the hurricane belt, I'd probably have to add cement to keep them in place.

No big deal though, and there's a tire yard about 10 minutes west on FL-60.

Guys, thanks for your suggestions, I learned a lot.

Roger

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Get you some pvc drain pipe it's about 8" round black and flexible and loop it and tie it off with wire and then make another loop you want to make it look like a ball. then on one end tie it to a cement block and cut holes into it to get rid of any air.

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Out of curiosity, is there any regulations/laws you need to follow when doing this.  I'm not certain, but I thought here in Wisconsin it is illegal to build fish cribs?

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In Texas I think it depends mainly on the lake regulations as far as useing and construction.  It can not be used to entrap fish by state law.  As far as I know (without checking) averything that has been mentioned in this post can be used on most lakes in this area.  I would definetly check the specifics though before doing anything.   A couple of friends of mine recently spent 2 days cutting and packing ceder trees into their trucks and boats, and when they arrived at the lake they found the shoreline was covered with piles if them,  The Ranger or who ever it was they talked to, told them that they were there for that specific purpose and they should have just used some of those and saved themselves a lot of work.  :'(   Due to the drought last year the water level had dropped below where they could load them onto barges and set them out.

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Chris, that sounds like a simple and effective approach.

I did a google search and unless I'm looking for the wrong stuff,

the best price I found for 6" flexible PVC pipe was $400 / 25-ft

Pheww...that would be one luxurious penthouse :)

Roger

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As far as I know (without checking) averything that has been mentioned in this post can be used on most lakes in this area.

I agree with that.

A very sensitive issue in Florida are the coral reefs, which are carefully guarded against molestation.

Also, I've read where a permit is required by industrial dumpers who might deposit toxins

into the ocean under the guise that they're contributing to a reef site. But I've never seen anything

in the regulations that restrict private freshwater reefs, something you'd think should be encouraged.

After all, the FWC spends a lot of money doing the exact same thing. But of course, private reefs

are on a much smaller scale and the best part, the coordinates are not public knowledge ;)

Roger

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Thanks Chris, that'll work!

I'm not sure it's PVC but it's "corrugated", which should be even better.

Roger

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Easy way to make sure your crib lands upright when placed is to simply take a milk jug with the cap on so its water tight and wire it to the top of whatever your sinking.  I do this when I sink trees and it works like a charm. Gets the trees to sink standing up and they rest perfctly.

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