A Better Idea for Fishing Line Recycling Bins

Discarded fishing line not disposed of properly lethal to wildlife.

Discarded line can and is lethal to wildlife, as evidenced by my photo above. This great blue heron died a brutal death, strangled by fishing line.

That is why recycled fishing line bins at launch ramps and access sites are such a good idea. Because of them, miles and miles of line are properly disposed of instead of being tossed into water or onto land.

dead heron hanging from fishing line

Dead heron hung by fishing line. Photo by: Robert Montgomery

How do I know this? The Good Ole Boys Bass Club of New York has collected 6.5 pounds of monofilament during two years of maintaining these bins. One pound of 10-pound-test line is 10,000 yards long. One mile is 1,760 yards. You do the math.

But we're now learning that even line inside the bins can be fatal to birds.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says this:

"It recently came to our attention that the receptacles themselves could be hazards to some cavity-nesting birds. Tree swallows and prothonotary warblers were found dead and entangled in fishing line inside similar receptacles in other states. The birds apparently see the plastic tubes as potential nest sites but become entangled in the used line upon entering."


Notice the bin is perfect sized for a small bird to fit it

A simple modification solves the problem. A rubber cover is placed over the opening, with a slit down the middle to allow line to be inserted, while keeping birds out. Go here to read more about how to do it: mdc.mo.gov/blogs/fresh-afield/best-laid-plans-birds-and-men

Also check out Protect Birds from the Danger of Open Pipes here: ca.audubon.org/workinglands-pipes.php

From the Publisher: This short story was worth space on our front page -- and your time to properly discard your used line is way more valuable to our community and environment than our pixel space. So read this twice if you need to, and stick a sign on your head if you keep forgetting. That one dead bird Robert shot is enough to make me think of how many times I 'accidentally' didn't pay attention to eight feet of line that got torn or lost during (or after) a battle with a big fish, or a tangle that got me p-eed off. Take care of where we live. It's all our back yards, after all.

Related Articles

The Online Fisherman

GHM logo