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Line to Anglers: Don’t Hook, Tangle Wildlife!

Discarded fishing equipment such as abandoned line, hooks, weights, etc. continues to be a major problem for the environment and a major threat to an array of wildlife in and around the water. It can maim and kill birds and other wildlife! Look what happened to this cormorant!

Just yesterday at Carter Lake in northeast Omaha, avid birder Jim Ducey of Omaha, NE brought to my attention yet another graphic incident involving birds getting tangled up with discarded fishing tackle. This time it was monofilament line, a treble hook and a weight connecting  two pelicans – one alive and the other dead. Click the link to Jim’s blog to read the story and see his photos:

http://wildbirdsbroadcasting.blogspot.com/2013/04/pelican-rescued-at-carter-lake.html

This is another example of how critical it is for us anglers to pack out all of our trash, dispose of it properly or perhaps recycle it and actually leave that fishing area better than we found it! Also, a wonderful option exists near the water at many public places where Nebraska anglers can put that balled up mess of line in specialized bins to be recycled. The program is called the Fishing Line Recycling Bin Program. It is made entirely possible by the great folks – the volunteers – at the nonprofit Nebraska Fish & Game Association (NEFGA) @ www.nefga.org

Here is a link directly to find the organization’s Fishing Line Recycling Bin locations: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207036274101313129153.0004c9dd40e5a644586e1&msa=0&ll=41.623655,-99.821777&spn=5.542657,13.392334
Interestingly, according to the NEFGA’s website, there is one of these bins at Carter Lake! Here’s a photo from the NEFGA of a fishing line recycling bin at one of my favorite honey holes – Memphis Lake State Recreation Area in Saunders County.
So, with temperatures warming and good fishing weather arriving, the message to you, my fellow anglers is simple:  There’s no excuse for not making every effort to safely retrieve, or for leaving, any fishing-related trash along our shorelines or in our waters! Discarded fishing gear also presents a risk to other anglers as well as swimmers, waders, scuba divers and bird watchers. For our safety and that of wildlife’s – leave only shoe prints!

About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

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