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Pick up fishing line and hooks _ even if they're not yours.

By Mary Lou Simms
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
(MCT)

Choo Choo Love of Winnipeg, Canada, originator of a website called
Love Canada Geese, looks for fishing line remnants everywhere she
travels. During a trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico, she picked up eight
fishing hooks from a duck pond and disentangled line from nearby tree
branches.
"Just imagine the agony the hooks and line could have caused the
ducks there," she says. "The hooks jam up the bills, causing starvation.
It makes me sad that society is so careless about other living creatures."
The site www.lovecanadageese.com shares poignant stories about
Canada geese trapped by fishing line and provides information on how
you can help.
Contact your local government or park officials about setting up
collection boxes for cast-off fishing gear in heavily fished areas. Ask that
signs warning of the dangers of leaving fishing gear behind be posted so
anglers will see them.
Warn children not to walk barefoot in fishing areas. Sharp hooks
protrude from grassy areas and shorelines.
Spread the word. Get your friends and community involved. It's a school
project, it's a civic project, it's a people project.
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper reminding anglers to
pick up fishing gear. Participate in local beach and clean-up events. If
there aren't any, organize one. Look around you. There isn't a heavily
fished lake, stream, river or pond in this country that probably couldn't
benefit from some attention.
What to do about a tangled animal? Throw a blanket or towel over the
bird's head to limit eyesight. It usually takes at least two people to
capture or help a tangled bird or turtle. Assess the situation. If fishing line
has snagged onto a wing or foot and it's in the early stages, sometimes
you can just pull it away. Otherwise, enlist help from another person or
contact your local wildlife rescue group.
___
(c) 2007,
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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