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Line & Tackle Can Bind & Tangle

Written by Lisa Busa, Glade Run Lake Conservancy Director

Fishing can be a relaxing hobby and an exciting sport. Anticipating the bite, reeling in the big one, and tallying your catch, all while enjoying the beauty of nature that surrounds you. However, please keep in mind that everything we do affects nature and sometimes those results can be harmful and even deadly.

Improperly disposed of fishing line and tackle can become a death trap for wildlife. Let's discuss a few of these dangers and how we can prevent them.

The Trauma of Entanglement

Foraging is a natural behavior for animals. While pawing and scratching at the ground or dabbling in shallow waters, animals can inadvertently get fishing line wrapped around their paws, legs, and beaks.

Other dangerous situations happen when a fishing line gets snagged in tree limbs. If unable to reach the snag, the fisherman will cut the line which leaves it hanging or stretched tightly between branches. This creates an invisible trap for flying animals. While panicking to free themselves, they accidentally tangle themselves even tighter.

When wildlife become entangled in fishing line and fishing nets, it causes feather damage, tissue damage, lacerations, loss of limbs, and entanglement. They are unable to move, find food, or escape from predators. Entrapment causes exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and ultimately death for tangled wildlife.