River Clean-up Focuses on getting out Line and Lead

Journalist Matt Markey from The Blade wrote a great article about the local effort in Ohio aimed at cleaning up fishing line and associated lead fishing tackle in the Maumee River. Below is an excerpt from the article with a link to the rest of it at the bottom of the page.

“With thousands of anglers flooding the Maumee River for two months each spring, lured into the water for the fishing bonanza created by the spawning runs of Lake Erie walleyes and white bass, there are going to be some footprints left behind.

Sadly, there will also be trash, including discarded food containers, cans and bottles, packaging from tackle, and even damaged waders. Those things are relatively easy to see and to clean up.

Fishing line and lead fishing weights lodged in the waterway, however, are a different kind of problem.

Strong, durable, and in many cases darned near invisible, fishing line will not break down for many years, so when the numerous snags in the river result in lines breaking off, the hazard it creates will last a long time, if not removed. The lead weights used by anglers in the swift river current present an equally troubling outcome.

The most frequent scenario involves an angler’s hook hanging up between rocks or on a submerged tree limb. In the crowd that the spawning runs attract, the fisherman can’t move up and down the waterway to attempt to dislodge the lure. So in haste, he often breaks off the line, ties on a new hook and weight, and continues fishing.

A few cases of lines breaking in the river will not present a significant hazard. But when multiplied by the hundreds each week, throughout the run, a major environmental issue is created.

All of those line fragments, hooks and lead weights swirling around in the Maumee become a veritable minefield for the fish, waterfowl and other wildlife that use the river.

One snag catches another, and then 10 more, creating web-like snares that threaten anything in the water.”

For the rest of the article please follow this link!

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