When I was younger, one of the neat things about local fishing holes was that you never had to bring your own tackle. If you poked around for a few minutes, you could usually find a hook, a couple of sinkers, and several feet of fishing line.

lush, colorful landscape painting of going fishing

Painting by syarul (deviantART).

This holds true today, but as an adult it’s hard to look at it as “neat”. There are thousands of feet of monofilament line languishing in watersheds across America. Discarded fishing line can entangle birds and other wildlife, or damage plants, and the material takes hundreds of years to decompose. Even if it’s deposited in a trash bag, a tangle of fishing line can continue to cause environmental trouble for years to come.

Photo via KSL.com.

Fortunately, it is both cheap and easy to install collection receptacles for fishing lines at your community’s favorite spots. For example, a group of watershed activists in New York provides the bins free of charge, through a government grant. But this is such a simple project that any group of motivated people can do it.

Photo via ActivistAngler.

First, although it’s not overly expensive, raising funds is a good place to start. Even if you can fund the project on your own, your friends and neighbors may want a chance to contribute and possible expand the project! Local governments may have grants available, and organizations like Trout Unlimited or sporting goods companies will be happy to help. Starting a Creeklife campaign takes a matter of minutes, and it’s convenient to have a webpage where you can send people for information and instructions.

Photo via Carmel Green Teen.

Money isn’t the only resource you’ll need to acquire in order to complete this project successfully. You will also need volunteer labor (depending on the scope of your ambitions), a place to send your collected fishing line, and permission from the local government where you intend to install the receptacles. Charitable or educational groups (like Boy Scout troops) are likely to have relevant contacts, and may even want to participate!

Although there is some time, effort, and money involved in getting fishing line receptacles installed on your watershed’s creeksides and lakeshores, the resources involved are minimal. It’s easy for a youth group, a boy scout troop, or even one motivated individual to get these important receptacles funded and set up.

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Posted by Mark Contorno.

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