MDC welcomes volunteers for Smithville Lake FISH Day

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Smithville, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) welcomes volunteers who would like to help install brush piles in Smithville Lake to enhance fish habitat. MDC and partners will hold the 5th Annual FISH Day starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 24. FISH stands for Friends Involved with Smithville Habitat.

This program utilizes heavy equipment to cut and haul large trees onto barges. Crews lash weights onto the trees and sink them at strategic locations in the lake. The brush piles provide spawning areas, places for young fish to escape predators and congregating areas for bait fish. They also attract sport fish such as crappie and can improve fishing success for anglers.

FISH is a partnership between MDC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clay County Parks and Recreation and volunteers. Volunteers get a first-hand look at new fishing hotspots.

Registration for volunteers and staff will be at the lake's Access 7 located at the end of McColloch Road. A free lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Eric Dennis, MDC fisheries management biologist, at 816-271-3100.

MDC's free Find MO Fish app for digital devices provides many services for anglers, including maps and GPS locations for where sunken brush piles are located in lakes where habitat has been enhanced. To download the app, visit