Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
New Program for a Cleaner Rend Lake
REND LAKE -- Fishing line is a necessity when reeling in a fish, but it can also entangle swimmers and divers and even cause damage to boat motors when disposed of improperly.
Local fisherman Ted Schanafelt has seen it happen all too often. He says, "It gets in their propeller and works right in the seal. Then their water pump goes out and then their motor blows up."
However, boats aren't the only victims.
Each year, hundreds of animals are entangled in discarded fishing line. A new program at Rend Lake is trying to help bring those numbers down.
Park ranger Molly Rawlinson helped place 15 fishing line receptacles around Rend Lake boat docks to cut down on fishing line litter.
"It helps keep the line out the lake. It provides safety for boaters and swimmers and the wild life," says Rawlinson. "We're so happy to have this program at Rend Lake. Hopefully these bins get utilized."
Neil Vincent started a similar program at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge five years ago. The receptacles have brought in an average of five pounds a year since the program began.
Vincent says, "So we've got about 25 to 30 pounds that we've collected. We have volunteers that come and collect these every Tuesday throughout the boat ramps, and it's been a pretty good success."
The refuge still rescues a handful of animals each year from fishing line, but Vincent hopes to see these numbers drop as more fishermen become aware of the receptacles.
Rend Lake and Crab Orchard Refuge send their collected fishing line to the Berkley Conservation Institute to be recycled into fish habitats.
Since 1990, the institute has recycled more than 9 million miles worth of fishing line.
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Humidity: 86 %