Fish Crib/Habitat Project

By Tom and Barb Kramer

The fish crib project went very well thanks to all of the volunteers that helped. We ended up with 6 more cribs than we originally planned to build. The load of logs that was delivered went a lot further than I thought it would, so we added more cribs. We built a total of 17 cribs and placed them in Rest and Spider Lakes, including one off the fishing pier at Koller Park. We hope to add eventually add at least three cribs to each lake in the Chain.

fish_crib_01The loggers (Jerry Litvinoff & Randy Greenfield) gave us a good deal on the logs. The load would normally cost $1,100. They gave it to the Lakes Association for $600. I would also like to thank all the rest of the volunteers: Todd Jeffers from Todd’s Caretaking, Luke Tornow, Rick McClellan, Mike Kramer, Chuck Kramer, Tom Kramer, John Hilbert, Dave Rein, Pat McCalligan, Will McCalligan, Terry Kurth and Todd Sarnio. Chuck from Chuck’s Excavating and Bear Country Builders, Inc. donated the machinery to load and move the fish cribs.

My plan is to put out donation containers shaped like fish cribs in businesses for anybody who would like to donate for the next year's cribs. I've already had people offer to contribute. If you would like to donate to this worthy project, please send your donation to Manitowish Waters Lakes Association, P. O. Box 286, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545. The cost for the cribs this year was $1873.38, and the cost for next year is estimated at $2,000.

fish_crib_02The cribs were built on land and then hauled to the lakes and unloaded. We then dragged them out to where they go with ATV’s and 4-wheelers. Brush was then cut from the woods and hauled out on to the lake on trailers to stuff the cribs. Since we’ve put the cribs out, the deer have been coming on to the lakes and feeding on the brush! Hopefully, they won’t eat all the brush before they sink in April.





The cribs are constructed of 8 Ft. logs and average about 6” in diameter. They’re stacked like a Lincoln log effect. This allows space between the logs for fish to be able to swim in an out of the crib. The size of each crib is 8’ x 8’ x 4’ tall. Each crib costs approximately $100 in materials and the labor was all volunteered.