Skip to main content

Resourceful recycling benefits bank anglers at Millwood Lake

BY Randy Zellers

ON 06-24-2020


June 24, 2020

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

Making fish attractors
SARATOGA — Thanks to some quick thinking and a little groundwork, several bundles of PVC pipe will now play a helpful role in fishing instead of wasting away in a landfill in southwest Arkansas. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission fisheries biologists recently added several large fish habitat structures in Lake Millwood constructed of leftover pipe destined for the dump.

Colton Dennis, fisheries habitat biologist for the AGFC in south Arkansas, worked with several fiber optic contractors in the area who were laying long-lasting PVC pipe to house underground transmission lines along highways to rural Arkansas communities.

“The pipe comes in large spools and we asked what they were doing with any scrap pipe left over at the end of a run,” Dennis said. “When they informed us they were just hauling it to a local landfill if it couldn’t be used, we spotted an opportunity.”

Dennis said many contractors agreed to leave any of these leftover sections in their local equipment yard until AGFC staff could get out to pick up the material.

“We cut the pipe into 6-foot sections and drill holes in it to help it sink,” Dennis said. “Then we construct complex cover filled with vertical and horizontal “limbs” to attract fish. The whole structure is anchored with concrete to keep it in place.”

Although Millwood is known for having many stumps, these large attractors offer many more spaces for baitfish to hide and predator fish to wait in ambush. These structures also are attractive to fish because they offer a different type of cover than much of their surroundings.

“So far, we’ve placed nearly 50 of these PVC trees at prime bank-fishing spots near Cottonshed, Saratoga and Beards Bluff accesses,” Dennis said. “The exact locations of these trees have been marked by GPS and will be available soon on the AGFC’s interactive map at”

The PVC used in these structures is an inert material that lasts for decades and doesn’t harm the environment where it is placed.

“It’s also much more friendly to bank anglers than some of our traditional brush piles,” Dennis said. “The PVC’s surface is hard and slick, so it significantly reduces the chance of an angler snagging and needing to break off their line.”

Visit to learn the locations of these and the thousands of other fish attractors placed throughout the state by the AGFC.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter E-mails

Don’t miss another issue. Sign up now to receive the AGFC Wildlife Weekly Newsletter in your mailbox every Wednesday afternoon (Waterfowl Reports are published weekly during waterfowl season and periodically outside the season). Fishing Reports arrive on Thursdays. Fill in the following fields and hit submit. Thanks, and welcome!