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Entries in wildlife (8)


Please, Pick Up That Line!

Pippa found some fishing line this morning. It was spread across about 10 yards of shoreline. As it tangled her feet, she wasn't happy about her discovery. If left there, the line could have been far more harmful or even fatal to a turtle, bird, or small mammal.

A special "thanks" and a one-finger salute to those who left it there.

Such thoughtless jerks aren't going to change. It's up to the rest of us to pick up after them because we are better human beings than they are. Please join me in doing so whenever you are on or near the water.



It's Not Just Monofilament That Kills

I’ve seen first-hand that fishing line kills. This is my photo of the blue heron hanging from a tree. It was heart-breaking to see.

When left in the aquatic environment, because of snags or improper disposal,  fishing line creates potential traps for unsuspecting wildlife that can become entangled and snared, leading to injury and death.

Monofilament is the most common type of fishing line, but it's not the only threat. Modern advances have produced several other varieties with higher tensile strength, reduced visibility and greater abrasion resistance. These newer, non-monofilament lines, such as braid and fluorocarbon, are fairly popular, but not all of them can be recycled like monofilament fishing line, and they are commonly disposed of improperly.

How you can help

To help reduce the negative environmental impacts from improper disposal of all fishing line and tackle, anglers can follow these general guidelines:

  • Check line frequently for frays that may break easily.
  • Don’t leave bait unattended since pelicans, herons and other birds may attempt to take the bait from the line, which may result in entanglements.
  • Cast away from trees, utility lines, wildlife and areas where line may get caught.
  • If you see improperly discarded fishing line while you are out, pick it up and stow it to be disposed of later.

Anglers can purchase or make their own fishing line storage bins to keep with them while they are fishing so that line can be stored securely and out of the way. Products such as the Monomaster and Line Snatcher are designed to help anglers store their unwanted fishing line; however, homemade versions can also be made by cutting an “X” in the lid of something as simple as a tennis ball container or coffee can.

Monofilament recycling

Once on shore, monofilament and fluorocarbon line can be recycled in designated bins found at most boat ramps, piers and tackle shops. However, anglers should not use these bins to discard any other type of fishing line or leader material such as braid or wire. Also, the bins should not be used to discard any type of tackle, such as hooks, lures or soft plastics, which can injure other anglers discarding their fishing line or the individuals who empty the bins for recycling.

 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provided the above information, as well as the following:

 You can learn how to make your own monofilament recycling bin by visiting FWC Saltwater Fishing YouTube  channel or by participating in the statewide Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program.


Going Fishing Isn't Always About Catching Fish


Fund-Raiser for Florida Youth and Wildlife

Dust off those cowboy boots and shine up those big silver belt buckles! It’s time for Florida’s 3rd Annual BlueGreen Event at “Alligator Ron” Bergeron’s Green Glades Cowboy Ranch in Weston.

This once-a-year, fun-filled, boot-stompin’, heel-kickin’, fund-raisin’ gala on November 15 is fast becoming the place for the movers and shakers of the fish and wildlife conservation world to meet, greet and raise money for the future of Florida’s kids and wildlife!

This is the night to open your wallets and put your money where your heart is: In the future and well-being of our youth, wildlife and all they share in the great outdoors. BlueGreen will feature live entertainment, a live auction, raffles, an authentic Florida Cracker cowboy cook out, and an unrivaled opportunity to mingle with major fish and wildlife conservationists, supporters and experts from around the state.

“BlueGreen promises to be a rip-roaring event, but its purpose is to raise awareness and money to ‘Create the Next Generation that Cares’,” said Rodney Barreto, the newly appointed chairman of the Wildlife Foundation of Florida (WFF). “Believe me, if you give a hoot about our kids and our wildlife, this is where you want to be to open your hearts and wallets.”

Research has shown that today’s kids spend less time in the outdoors than any previous generation.

“The reasons are many, but the point is that these kids are losing touch with nature and we’ve got to get them outside and into the natural world again,” Barreto said. “We need programs to reconnect kids to their outdoor heritage, and we need funding to do it. That’s why we started the BlueGreen event three years ago.”

With support from BlueGreen participants and sponsors, the WFF and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) created the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN), a web of conservation-related facilities and programs located throughout the state geared toward getting kids outside. 

“The success of these programs is vital to the health and well-being of our children, to Florida’s wildlife, and to the traditions handed down from generation to generation. Without them, we face a future where Florida has no place to hunt, no place to fish, no place to hike, and no one who cares,” Barreto said.

During the gala, the WFF will also be honoring Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam as the 2014 winner of the BlueGreen Award for Conservation Leadership in Florida.

Everyone – individuals, governmental entities, businesses – is encouraged to attend and participate. All money raised at the BlueGreen will go directly to the WFF to fund youth and wildlife-related programs and projects, in particular the renovation of the famous Everglades Youth Conservation Camp, an integral part of the FYCCN.

For more information about BlueGreen or to purchase tickets, visit To become a sponsor, email or call (850) 212-5454.

About the Wildlife Foundation of Florida

The WFF is a 501c3 nonprofit started in 1994 as the citizen support group for what is now the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Its mission is to partner with the FWC to ensure the conservation and enhancement of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources so they survive and thrive for current and future generations of Florida residents and visitors. Remember, Florida is like no other place on Earth; working together we can keep it that way.

For more information on the WFF and how every Florida resident or guest can support the Foundation, visit To stay up-to-date with its latest news, join the WFF Facebook page at


Slobs Return to Trash Lakes

They were a little late this year, because of a cool spring. But the pigs finally have arrived.  This morning, I picked up this wad of monofilament line (above) left by one of them at a lake near my house. A litter barrel was less than 10 feet away.

Am I upset? Yes, I am. Jerks who do these types of things give anglers a bad name --- and they kill.

Think I’m exaggerating?

Awhile back, I took this photo (below) of a great blue heron that died because of entanglement in discarded fishing line.

If you haven’t already, please take Recycled Fish’s Stewardship Pledge. Following it will be good for you, anglers in general, our waters, and our wildlife.

Photo by Robert Montgomery Okay, now that I have that out of my system.

For the past couple of years, I’ve picked up trash at the access areas at a couple of lakes near my home, once the summer season starts. Mostly I pick up discarded drink containers, fast-food wrappers, and fishing line.

Now that I have Pippa, my new canine companion, she will accompany me on these cleanups. And she seems eager to help.

This morning, she picked up a used feminine hygiene product. Fortunately, I was able to grab the dangling string and pull it out of her mouth.

Ah, yes, I love the pigs.