Tire configurations may range from large towers to pyramid, hexagonal or dome structures to single tire units.  Below are pictured several types of arrangements.  However, due to environmental concerns, tires are not permitted in some waters.  Before placing these structures, consult your state agency for any necessary permits or licenses.

a) tires3        b) tires1        c) tires2


d) tires4


Click here for map of states that used this method.

Main reasons used:

  • low cost
  • availability of materials

Reported advantages:

  • Some reports indicate attraction of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), walleye (Stizosteidion canadense), and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) by structures.

Reported disadvantages:

  • Although some studies report positive results, others found the structures to be ineffective.


  • Effectiveness of these structures depend on environmental conditions of the reservoir and the depth of placement.

Mean reported time to create/place one structure/unit: 17 hrs (range 0.17 – 80, n=12)

Mean reported life of structure/unit: 23 yrs (range 8 – 50, n=8)

Degree of Satisfaction:
*average ratings on a scale of 1 – 5 with 1 being very satisfied and 5 being very dissatisfied.

  • fish attractor to increase angler catch and harvest  2.9 (n=11)

Related references:

Evans, J. J.  1997.  Rubber tire leachates in the aquatic environment.  Reviews in Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology 151:67-115.

Hartwell, S. I., Jordahl, D. M., Dawson, S. E. O., and A. S. Ives.  1998.  Toxicity of scrap tire leachates in estuarine salinities: Are tires acceptable for artificial reefs?  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 127:796-806.

Mueller, G., and C. R. Liston.  1994.  Evaluation of tire reefs for enhancing aquatic communities in concrete-lined canals.  North American Journal of Fisheries Management 14:616-625.

Nelson, S. M., G. Mueller, and D. C. Hemphill.  1994.  Identification of tire leachate toxicants and a risk assessment of water quality effects using tire reefs in canals.  Bulletin of Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology 52:574-581.

Pierce, B. E., and G. R. Hooper.  1980.  Barkley Lake Symposium: fish standing crop comparisons of tire and brush fish attractors in Barkley Lake, Kentucky.  Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish Wildl. Agencies 33:688-691. 1979[1980].

Prince, E. D., Maughan, O. E., and G. L. Clement.  1976.  Foods of centrarchid fishes associated with artificial tire reefs in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.  Virginia Journal of Science 27:48.  Abstract only.

Prince, E. D., Strange, R. J., and G. M. Simmons, Jr.  1978.  Preliminary observations on the productivity of periphyton attached to a freshwater artificial tire reef.  Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish Wildl. Agencies 30:207-215. 1976[1978].

Vaugh, T. L.  1974.  An evaluation of tire fish attractors.  Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Lake City.


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