Wild Things: District Urges Anglers to Properly Dispose of Fishing Line

Fishing is one of the most popular activities in the DuPage forest preserves, and visitors can fish on most forest preserves lakes, ponds, rivers and tributaries. But along with the privilege of so many fishing opportunities comes the responsibility for visitors to clean up after themselves.

For years the District has urged anglers to dispose of their fishing line — called monofilament — in recycling containers located along the shorelines of many popular fishing spots, said District senior ranger Dave Sima. Discarded fishing line left along the shoreline or in the water can prove harmful to native wildlife. Animals can become so entangled in fishing line that they can’t free themselves, and die. Turtles can accidentally swallow hooks.

Each year, the District’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn treats hundreds of wild animals injured by fishing tackle. Anglers can help lower those numbers by putting unwanted hooks, lures and bobbers in the trash, Sima said.

The District began installing monofilament recycling bins around its lakes about five years ago. It also has posted signs showing pictures of injured wildlife that read, “Litter hurts.”

Sima said rangers empty the recycling bins and separate the monofilament from the bobbers, hooks, lures and other trash. The monofilament is given to the Berkley Conservation Institute, which turns recycled fishing line into fish habitats that can be installed under piers and docks. The habitat attracts fish and encourages plant growth almost immediately, providing the natural cover essential to the growth of a healthy fish population.

Sima talks about the District’s efforts to dispose of monofilament on Wild Things on WDCB Radio (90.9 FM).  


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