Saturday, September 5, 2015

Stray Fishing Line and Hooks -- Something Else We Need to Get Right

This is an all too common situation which we see at all of the lakes around Columbia and Howard County. I took this photo of a green heron at Centennial Lake yesterday and thought I had a nice composition -- until I had the photo on my desktop at home and saw the line and hook in the upper right corner. Fishing lines, hooks and sinkers lost by anglers are a hazard to wildlife, and maybe they even present a hazard to other people engaged in recreational activities at the lakes.

I could not reach this line and hook myself to remove them, but I have contacted Howard County Recreation and Parks. They might be able to send someone with a boat to remove the hazard.

Meanwhile, people are talking about banning fishing altogether at the county lakes. I'm not sure that's the solution. People will fish somewhere else and leave stray lines and hooks to endanger wildlife in other locations.

Here's another photo of another green heron at Lake Kittamaqundi taken earlier in August. Fishing line is visible wrapped around the end of the dead limb providing a perch for the heron. Birds can get their feet tangled in line like that and be unable to free themselves. Unable to fly or catch food, they eventually weaken and die.