Fishing Line, Wildlife and Pets

TikiFishingDeb D’Andrea, Nederland.  Hiking up Barker Reservoir trail this weekend, Bear and Sally became tangled in the same fishing line, which wrapped around their legs and pulled tighter each time they tried to move. Fortunately I quickly reacted and untangled them before the line became too tight around their legs. We were lucky as there was no hook involved.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened and it’s very frustrating because the line is difficult to see amongst the bushes and water line where one will find it left behind by a fisherperson.

Fishing line isn’t the only culprit in injuring critters, last year a dog came limping out of Barker Reservoir with a hook in his paw and had to go to the Vet for removal of the hook.

As I myself fish, I completely understand how if you lose a hook, you can’t really go in to find it as it’s almost impossible to see or find. However, leaving fishing line behind that could easily have been wound up and carried off to the trash is inexcusable. We lost a Cormorant that was on Barker Reservoir to discarded fishing line. He became caught in it and it wrapped around him in such a way he couldn’t fly. He died. Other animals can easily become caught up in the discarded fishing line leaving them unable to escape predators, or leading to injuries and drowning.

Fishing line will last for years as it is strong and doesn’t degrade or decompose. Some wild birds will even try to use it for their nests. This causes a threat to the life of the parents and young hatchlings if they get caught in it unable to fly to feed their family or the hatchlings becoming caught together unable to properly develop. Even the lead sinkers can be ingested by birds causing them to get lead poisoning, eventually leading to debilitating lead poisoning illnesses.

How can we help? If you’re fishing, practice ‘leave no trace’ and pick up everything that doesn’t belong there upon leaving an area. If you see fishing line or other fishing items or even trash left behind by someone else, pick it up and throw it in the trash – unless of course the item is still good and you can use it!  If you see a bird caught up in fishing line, try to help if possible, and call a bird rescue organization if you think there’s time. Unfortunately for the Comorant at Barker that wasn’t an option as he had already passed. I always hike with a knife so I can cut fishing line if my Girls get caught up in it and the knife is helpful in removing fishing line if it’s wrapped around bushes. Good luck fishing if you’re a fisherperson and let’s help keep our critters safe!

Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and visits your home or Vet to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order.  For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: info@4theluvofdogz.com.

Deb D'Andrea

Deb D’Andrea, columnist for The Mountain Ear, and founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and visits your home or Vet to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2018 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: info@4theluvofdogz.com.