MDC sinks fish-attracting brush piles at Truman Lake

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Kansas City
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Warsaw, Mo. – More sunken brush piles for fish habitat were recently added to Truman Lake in the Shawnee Bend area by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The brush piles provide sheltering and feeding places for bait fish and sport fish. They also make good spots for anglers to catch fish. The GPS locator coordinates for the brush piles should be added to maps on the MDC’s MO Fishing app by the end of the month.

“These brush piles are popular among anglers,” said Chris Brooke, MDC fisheries management biologist. “They can be good for any angler. But on a large reservoir like Truman, they are especially useful for folks who aren’t as familiar with the lake and need somewhere to start.”

Fourteen MDC staff members used heavy equipment and a barge to move brush from shore to the lake. Cedar trees that will last for long periods underwater were weighted and sunk. Fish often congregate near flooded standing timber, especially cedars, when a lake is new. But as lakes age those trees decay away. Adding brush piles replaces lost structure cover for fish.

“In years past, we have dumped one or two trees in a spot and moved around to several different locations,” Brooke said. “This year, we changed things up a bit and concentrated on dumping several trees in a couple of spots. This should allow these brush piles to be more productive across a range of lake conditions since these large brush piles cover a greater range of depths. Larger brush piles will also help anglers who may not have the GPS technology to key in on a specific spot but can fish in the general area knowing there are several trees there.”

MDC staff this year will also begin evaluating places where brush was sunk in previous years to gauge fish use, he said.

To find lake maps and GPS coordinates for sunken brush piles, visit Where to Fish | Missouri Department of Conservation ( For general information about fishing in Missouri, visit