June 16, 2009

Chicago’s Fish Hotel opens for 5th season

Officials involved in preserving fish in the Chicago River said the Fish Hotel, a series of underwater islands made of fish food, has opened for a fifth season.

Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River, said the Fish Hotel, which from outside of the water looks like a garden on top of the water, involves submerged islands of coconut fiber to provide the river's fish with a healthy food source, the Chi-Town Daily News reported Tuesday.

It's important because there is fish life in an urban environment, but it's lacking in habitat and natural settings, Frisbie said.

She said the Fish Hotel is an important first step in creating a sustainable ecosystem for the fish, as the plants attract other aquatic life that can serve as food to the fish, including crayfish and dragonflies.

We built it in order to demonstrate that this sort of thing is possible, Frisbie said.