COLUMBIA -- Now that Christmas has come and gone, South Carolina wildlife officials say Christmas trees can have a second life that's good for the state's fish and small animals.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said discarded trees can be put to good use in rural areas as erosion control or brush piles that give cover for small animals such as quail and rabbits.

Biologists said trees also can be attractive to fish in the state's reservoirs. Fish attractor sites are marked by buoys. On the bottom of lakes, Christmas trees also can make a good habitat for the aquatic insects that serve as food for small fish.