Geauga Park District’s “Pack It In, Pack It Out” approach to litter in the parks encourages patrons to clean up after themselves, minimizing the strain on taxpayer dollars for this service; anglers are asked to remove fishing line and tackle that becomes entangled in vegetation. As park staff (Operations and Rangers) see it left behind, however, they do what is needed to keep these areas clean and pristine for park visitors and wildlife.
Some additional insight on this problem from Park Biologist Paul Pira:
Monofilament line is great for fishing, but can cause real problems for other wildlife if improperly disposed of. Many wetland birds, reptiles and amphibians can become entangled in this line. Plus, anglers can lose costly lures caught up on others’ improperly discarded line.
To help reduce these negative environmental impacts from improper disposal of fishing line, anglers can follow these tips.
1) Good anglers check their line frequently for nicks and frays that may cause it to break easily. You certainly don’t want to lose that big fish to bad line, and you definitely don’t want to lose that line in the lake where it can damage wildlife.
2) If you do break your line, please make every effort to retrieve all of it.
3) Good anglers practice casting a lot to hone their skills. Also, try to avoid casting around low-hanging trees and shrubs, utility lines and obvious areas where line may get caught.
4) If you see improperly discarded fishing line while you are out, pick it up and stow it away to be disposed of later. Anglers can make their own fishing line storage bins to keep with them while they are fishing so that line can be stored out of the way. To make such a bin, simply cut an X in the lid of something as simple as an old tennis ball container or coffee can.
5) Monofilament and fluorocarbon line can be recycled in designated bins found at many boat ramps, piers and tackle shops. Some of Geauga Park District’s lakes and ponds already have such recycling containers installed. For example, Eagle Scout candidate Doug Schuder installed several fishing line recycling boxes at Beartown Lakes Reservation in 2016 as part of his Eagle Scout project. You’ll be pleased to know that Natural Resource Management staff also just recently installed a recycling container at Bass Lake Preserve’s boat ramp (pictured).
Thank you for your concern about this important issue!