Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Fisheries Section staff recently launched a new program designed to increase the amount of fish-attracting structure in Kansas public waters. As part of the program, staff will sink approximately 300 “PVC cubes,” to attract fish. The 3-foot by 4-foot by 4-foot cubes are cost-effective and proven in other states, and not only do they last more than three times (10-plus years) longer than natural brush piles, they have been shown to hold as many fish as the natural counterpart without effecting water quality.
David Breth, who recently took over coordination of the fish habitat program, said that the goal of adding 300 cubes this year has just about been met.
“It’s an ongoing project,” he said. “As we get the materials and kits ready, we are adding cubes and new lake locations to receive them. All cubes are being placed at specific, pre-determined locations.”
Known as “Georgia Cubes,” the artificial structures were designed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Stacking more than 50 feet of corrugated pipe on the PVC frame, the design maximizes surface area for fish attraction. The structures quickly accumulate periphyton, a complex mix of algae, fungi, and bacteria, making them more attractive to insects and fish.
Anglers are already reporting catching fish, notably largemouth bass, around the cubes placed this spring. Fisheries field staff will collect sonar and video images on how fish populations and species are using the cubes in relation to natural structures.
For anglers wanting to try their luck, a file is available with GPS locations of attractors (natural and artificial) at the KDWPT website, www.ksoutdoors.com. Click on “Fishing” then click on “Google KMZ file of KS Fish Attractors” under the “Fishing Opportunities” menu. Anglers can also find the file by entering “fish attractor GPS” in the search box on the home page. As the new cubes are placed and marked, the file will be updated with locations. Cubes have been added to, Milford, Wilson, Melvern, Perry, El Dorado, Tuttle Creek and Horsethief reservoirs, Butler, Clark, Pottawatomie No. 1, Pottawatomie No. 2 and Meade state fishing lakes, Yates Center South Owl Lake, and Eureka City Lake.
Breth said that without the help of Kansas B.A.S.S. chapters, the placement process would be much slower.
“Local B.A.S.S. clubs have been instrumental in this project, assembling the cubes from kits onsite, then placing them using their own boats and GPS units,” he said. “They’ve been a great help.”