Fish in Lake Shelbyville to benefit from ‘Cube’ structures

A crew installs fish structures in Lake Shelbyville in December. A total of 18 “Cubes” were placed, with more planned in the future.

My original plan for Sunday morning was to get in some winter crappie fishing on Lake Shelbyville, but simply walking the dog around our neighborhood for 10 minutes just about froze my socks to my shoes.

So I went with “Plan B.”

I’d heard a couple of area crappie clubs had partnered with the DNR and some businesses to build and place fish structures in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake. This is the kind of project that makes crappie anglers really look forward to the spring ( and future springs).

I did a little asking around and found that Chip’s Marine, the Central Illinois Crappie Club, the Springfield Crappie Club, JP Construction, DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did indeed install the structures. Chip Christenson, owner of Chip’s Marine south of Sullivan, had approached the DNR this past summer about establishing permanent fish structures. Mike Mounce, DNR fisheries biologist, suggested the “Georgia Cube,” which has been a success in the southern lakes.

As a bonus for bass anglers, Mounce and Christenson modified the Georgia Cube to help improve the habitat attraction for largemouth bass and to ensure the cubes wouldn’t move in the current of Lake Shelbyville.

In mid-December, 18 of the Cubes were deployed in the Camp Camfield and Bo Wood area of Lake Shelbyville. More cube drops are planned for next year. 

Chip’s Marine built a small scale model of the Lake Shelbyville Cube and placed it in his business along with a donation box for anyone that is interested in supporting the project. A drop box is also planned for the Lake Shelbyville Project Office. All donations will go directly towards purchasing materials for future cubes.

We’ll have more details on the project – and on the Georgia Cube’s benefit to crappies, bass and other fish – in the Jan. 27 issue of Illinois Outdoor News. 

Speaking of structure, I should mention that it’s time to donate your Christmas trees to help fish habitat. Following are some of the drop-off locations around Lake Shelbyville:

  • Trees are being collected through Feb. 15 at Howy’s Lake Side Gas Station on Route 32 south of Sullivan and at Johnstown Mall on the west side of Shelbyville. Organizers ask that trees be dropped inside the snow fencing at those locations, not on the parking lot.
  • In Macon County, discarded trees may be taken to the compost site at 3520 N. Bearsdale Road in Decatur from Monday through Friday.
Categories: Blog Content, Illinois – Andy Palmer

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