Anyone who frequents the Lake Kaweah basin, especially in the winter months when water levels are lowest, has most likely encountered wads of monofilament line hanging in bushes, under rocks, or all too often with bird feathers attached. The longer the twisted fishing line is left around, the more chance it can become a danger to wildlife or even curious pets if they ingest the discarded fishing line.
Monofilament fishing line, lures, hooks, leaders, and weights present huge dangers to birds and wildlife when they are not properly disposed of. Monofilament lines can tangle around the bills, feet, wings, legs, and necks of birds, which can result in death, amputations of feet, legs, and wings, or when the line is around the neck the possibility of a slow, painful strangulation.
To deal with the monofilament refuse, often cut when a lure or hook becomes snagged underwater, rangers at Lake Kaweah recently installed recycling receptacles near the lake’s boat ramps at each of the three recreation areas — Slick Rock, Kaweah, and Lemon Hill. Lake Kaweah officials have contacted area bass clubs and the Commonwealth in the hopes of getting more recreational users to actively patrol the shoreline and pick up the tangled masses of line.
Always exercise caution when retrieving fishing line because often barbed hooks are still attached.
The program was started nationally by Berkley, the world’s leading maker of fishing tackle, with a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Berkley is best known for its Trilene fishing line and Powerbait.
As part of the Berkley recycling program, there are now over 17,000 collection bins at retailers and marinas nationwide.
All fishermen need to be aware of how to dispose of used line, hooks, lures, and weights properly by using the receptacles that are now available. This simple act could save the lives of birds and wildlife while protecting the environment.
For more information about Lake Kaweah’s monofilament recycling program, contact William Spring, park ranger, at 597-2301 or email email@example.com.