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Entries in Activist Angler (9)

Wednesday
Mar152017

Pick Up Fishing Line That Others Leave Behind

Fellow anglers: Please, as spring approaches, remember to pick up discarded fishing line that you see in the water, on the land, and, when possible, in trees. Left behind, it can kill fish and wildlife, especially birds. The people who toss it  aren't going to read this or don't care. Probably both.

It's up to the responsible majority to counter the actions of the irresponsible few. And you'll feel better for doing it. If you belong to a fishing club, make line and trash pickup a regular part of your organizaiton's activities. Also, consider installing recycled line bins at piers and ramps.

Here's a note recently sent to Activist Angler about this issue:

"I read your article here http://www.activistangler.com/journal/tag/fishing-line while searching to know what to do about my issue. We love birds. We do not fish. We do not buy fishing line.

"We have tall trees and live in northern Utah. We have big windstorms. Last year, a big windstorm blew a whole bunch of fishing line into our trees. We got rid of what was low enough. However, these trees are tall. One fishing line which is clear, not white, goes from the branch of one tree to the branch of another tree.

"I know birds get injured by this. We took one injured bird into the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Birds sometimes make 'danger' sounds in large groups near there. I am glad they are figuring it out. I do not know how to get this line out of our trees because it is up so high. Do you have any ideas?"

My response:

I’m so sorry to hear about your situation and wish that I could offer a solution. Sadly, I don’t know of any options other than to climb the trees (if possible) and cut out the line or hire a tree-trimming business to do it for you.

The kind of fishing line that you describe probably is monofilament, and it will deteriorate over time with exposure to sun. But that likely will take years. Meanwhile, it could kill birds. I’ve seen it happen. I took that photo you saw on my website of a great blue heron hanging from a dead tree.

Anglers break lines from time to time and can’t always retrieve all of it because it’s hung on something they can’t reach, either in the water or, worse, in a tree. But that line is attached is something and doesn’t blow all over the place.

What you describe is the result of thoughtless and irresponsible people who discarded that line on the ground or in the water, with no regard for the harm it could do, instead of disposing of it properly. 

I live in an area with several small lakes, and, especially in spring and summer, I often pick up discarded line along the shorelines as I walk with my dog. And every time I do, I have some not-so-nice words for the people who tossed it there.

Wednesday
Dec212016

A Christmas Wish from the Activist Angler

May you never break another rod in a car door or ceiling fan.

May you always catch fish --- but not too many or too often.

May your trebles rarely get tangled.

May you always believe a big one is possible on your next cast.

May all your backlashes be little ones.

May you always cherish the joy that fishing brought you as a child.

May you never get another hole in the seat of your rain pants.

May you make the world a better place by teaching someone to fish.

May you never run out of your favorite lure.

May you never feel too old to get up early to go fishing.

May ethanol-based fuel be banished to the trash heap of bad ideas.

May you not miss the rainbow because you are too busy catching a limit.

May Asian carp never invade your fishery.

May you have at least one day of fishing so good that no one believes you.

May you know the peace that a day on the water brings all throughout the New Year.

(Copyright Robert Montgomery 2016)

Sunday
Apr132014

Ensuring Fishing for the Future

Photo by Robert Montgomery

Most who fish just want to be left alone to do so.

Others desire that too, but are not content to leave it at that. They want to ensure quality fishing for future generations. State conservation directors in B.A.S.S. Nation are among those, as are volunteers with Trout Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation.

 My friend Teeg Stouffer is one of those, which is why he founded Recycled Fish, reminding anglers that we all live downstream.

I am one of those as well, which is why I founded the Activist Angler website with the goal of “promoting and protecting recreational fishing.” That’s why I’ve volunteered to be a fishing instructor for the Missouri Department of Conservation this spring.

And it’s why I wrote my new book, Why We Fish, in the way that I did. Most of it celebrates why we keep going back to the water and the benefits that we derive from doing so. But a small portion is devoted to stewardship and the threats confronting recreational fishing.

When I’m on the water, I’m not thinking about such things, and I’m not asking you to either. But when you’re not fishing, I’ll hope that you think about stewardship and the importance of passing on healthy fisheries to future generations.

And I’ll hope that you’ll take the Recycled Fish Stewardship Pledge:

  • I pledge to live a lifestyle of stewardship on and off the water. Living as a steward means making choices throughout my daily life that benefit lakes, streams and seas - and the fish that swim in them - because my Lifestyle Runs Downstream.
  • I will learn the fish and game laws where I hunt or fish and always abide by them.
  • I will practice catch and release and selective harvest faithfully and responsibly.
  • I will "police my resource" by turning in poachers and reporting polluters.
  • I will make up for "the other guy" by cleaning up litter wherever my adventures take me.
  • I will boat safely and responsibly, never trespass, and treat other enthusiasts respectfully.
  • I will inspect, clean and dry my boat, boots and waders when moving between waters to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • I will provide my time, money, or other resources to support stewardship efforts.
  • I will take steps to see that my home, lawn, vehicle, workplace and everyday lifestyle are as fish-friendly as I can make them by reducing my water, energy, material and chemical footprint.
  • I will encourage others to take on this ethic and will connect others with the outdoors to grow the stewardship community.
  • I choose to serve as a role model in protecting what remains and recovering what’s been lost of our wild and natural places.
  • I am a steward.
Friday
Feb072014

Meanwhile . . . Somewhere It's Warm

Minus 2 degrees this morning here at Activist Angler headquarters, with more snow predicted for tonight and possibly over the weekend. Yeah, "it's 5 o'clock somewhere," but I'm going to wait until it's 5 o'clock here before I put on an Aloha shirt, mix a Cuba libre, and listen to some Jimmy Buffet music.

Meanwhile, I'm going to do a little vicarious travel through my "Escape! Gallery." Join me on trips to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Lake Okeechobee.

Tuesday
Sep102013

The Online Fisherman Meets Why We Fish

A review of my new book, Why We Fish, is posted at The Online Fisherman, one of the most popular and informative angling sites on the worldwide web. Thanks to publisher Gary Poyssick. An excerpt is below:

I could talk a lot about the book and not be talking about the book. It is pure "uncle stories" and not a resource of accessible ramps. What it is though is a connection to the mind and heart of a guy whose involvement and background in our fishing industries and the media surrounding the industries could be a book all its own. His own website, the ActivistAngler.com, is one that needs to be in your regular reading folder if it is not already there. His knowledge of the politics and characters behind the global attempt to keep recreational anglers off the water is not matched by many . . .  He reflects his position in a chapter called "I'm not an Environmentalist" but for far more resource and research information, make sure you visit his own site.

Get the book. Whether you read it like one string of spaghetti coming out of a very tasty sauce, or you pick at it like those pistachio nuts you really should stop eating by the thirty-dollar pound, taste it. It is worth the chews, and so is anything this guy spends the time writing.

Thanks Robert, great book. And thanks for the quote from Thoreau. It says it all: Many men go fishing their entire lives without realizing it is not the fish they are after.