Suburban Skyview: Donut Lake's cottonwoods in Palatine will give fish shelter

  • Salt Creek Rural Park District uses weighted Cottonwood trees cut from the island in Donut Lake for fish cribs in Palatine.

      Salt Creek Rural Park District uses weighted Cottonwood trees cut from the island in Donut Lake for fish cribs in Palatine. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/26/2022 6:03 PM

Workers braved the slushy ice on a windy gray day late in the winter on Donut Lake in Palatine to add weights to the cottonwood tree and other repurposed brush to provide future homes for fish.

Chris Paisley, superintendent of parks and golf of the Salt Creek Rural Park District, manages Twin Lakes in Palatine, which comprises Donut Lake, the fishing section, and Mud Lake, which is used for its golf driving range.

 

"We wanted to do a little restoration work on that island this winter which sits in Donut Lake, so we went ahead and cut down some leaning cottonwood trees which were deemed hazardous and restore the island," Paisley said. "Rather then hauling the debris off, we wanted to turn it into fish habitat for the smaller fish like the panfish could hide."

Donut Lake was born from the creation of Route 53 and was used as a borrowing yard. Dirt was dug from that location and used on the development by the Illinois Department of Transportation from 1963 to 1970.

What's the next phase of the restoration project, according to Paisley? "Some native seeding will be done on the island that will take place this spring/summer to establish a nice prairie type grass. The island is off-limits to nonessential personal."

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