Conservation – Fishing Line Project

Recycle Bin History
By Robert Patton

In August of 2012 several members of Redbud Audubon chapter attended a Grebe Conservation Project conference in Chester near Lake Almanor. One of the activities during the conference was a field trip to Eagle Lake.

While visiting Eagle Lake Audubon volunteers working on the grebe project witnessed a Western Grebe struggling frantically and unsuccessfully to remove tangled fishing line caught in its bill, back, and damaged right foot (see attached photo). Wildlife protectors know that tangled fishing line often injures and kills birds and animals caught in fishing line that has been discarded in the water or along a shoreline.

On our return to Lake County we decided we should do something to help remove discarded discarded fishing line from around Clear Lake and discovered that The California Coastal Commission began a program in 2009 that provides detailed instructions and photographs to construct Fishing Line Recycle Bins made of PVC pipe.

We made a decision to join the project and in May of 2013 began building and installing Fishing Line Recycle Bins around Clear Lake. To date we have installed 25 bins at locations listed on the  Location List and collected and properly recycled over 20 pounds of discarded fishing line. The discarded fishing line is sent to Berkeley Fishing Products recycling facility in Iowa and made into other products. 

This YouTube video of an Osprey caught in tangled fishing line shows the importance of protecting wildlife from discarded fishing line.