NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State wildlife officials are looking for individuals who illegally cut down trees at Percy Priest Lake.
The Tennessean reports Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers recently found 24 Bald Cypress trees cut down by chainsaws.
The trees are the property of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and removing them violates federal law.
Officials say the individuals who cut down the trees then sank them in the lake to use as fish attractors.
"What we think happened is they went out and cut off the tops of these trees, which have a lot of branches on them, and they probably drug them out into the lake so that they could fish over top of them," said TWRA spokesman Doug Markham. "It's just somebody who is selfish and too lazy to drag their own stuff out there so they cut down the fisherman's trees."
Bald Cypress trees, which are a member of the redwood family, can grow to 120 feet. TWRA reservoir biologists plant the water-tolerant trees near lakes to help keep the shoreline intact and minimize erosion.