Fishing line and hooks discarded along waterways can harm animals, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials urge anglers to dispose of line properly.
Every year dozens of birds and small mammals in Colorado get tangled up in fishing line along rivers, creeks and reservoirs. Fishing line left on the bank is dangerous. An animal can't untangle itself from fishing line so it is often fatal. If an animal is hampered by fishing line it also reduces its ability to escape predators. Some birds also use fishing line to build nests. The result is that chicks and young waterfowl end up tangled in the mess.
Animals will also eat the small bits of food that remain on fish hooks. They often swallow the hooks and the consequences are fatal.
There's no reason to toss line or fishing tackle on the ground. Just stuff it in your pocket and throw it away at home.
Fishing line also cuts into the tender legs and feet of birds, waterfowl and other wildlife. Those cuts then can become infected and result in an agonizing death for the animals. Pets can also get tangled in fishing line with a potential to cause injury.
Monofilament line is very strong and can remain hazardous for years. Unfortunately, hooks and line can be found along reservoirs and stream banks throughout the state. Anglers who see any type of trash along a waterway should pick it up. Also, tell youngsters and inexperienced anglers about the dangers. It's easy to perform this small service for the environment and wildlife.
If you want to recycle your old fishing line, it can be sent to: Berkley Recycling, 1900 18th Street, Spirit Lake, Iowa, 51360. Fishing and sport shops that would like to offer recycling to customers, can contact Berkley at 1-800-237-5539. Berkley is a fishing products company.