I’m always happy to see anglers do good things for rivers, lakes and oceans. That can be as simple as stopping to pick up some trash as you fish—the little things really do matter. But some people take clean angling ethic to a higher level, and we should all be grateful for that.
Take the case of Eric Rasmussen, an Eagle Scout candidate who made a project out of removing metal debris (like old car parts) that had been dumped along the banks (and into the stream bed) of the Halfway River in southwestern Connecticut. Eric spent more than 100 hours, usually after school, working with his uncle and a battery-powered reciprocating saw to cut the metal into pieces small enough to be hauled away. By the time he finished, Eric had helped move more than six tons of debris, including two car chassis, a transmission, two cast iron water tanks, and more.
If that’s not worthy of kudos, I don’t know what is. In the coming weeks, I’m going to try to spotlight some more examples of folks who have done great things to help fisheries. If you have suggestions of people to highlight, please let me know.
I’m also going to offer some tips on how you can do your part to keep waters clean and healthy. My number one, out-of-the-gate recommendation is to pay close attention to how you discard fishing line. Not only old line that you want to replace… it’s important to keep track of those little sections and tag ends that you snip off after tying knots and so forth.
I like to keep a little pouch especially for collecting “junk line,” but your system could be as simple as dedicating a shirt pocket to the cause. Many tackle shops and boat ramp facilities have line collection bins where you can drop off spent line and know that it will be disposed of properly.
It’s important to manage line waste because those materials that end up in the water can last for years, sometimes tangling fish and other wildlife, and sometimes just creating an eyesore for other people. And the thing is, taking care of shot line the right way is simple to do. It’s just a matter of making it a positive habit.
Kirk Deeter is an editor-at-large for Field & Stream and the editor of TROUT magazine.