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Charlotte Harbor Monofilament and Fishing Line Cleanup

Another important aspect of the Colonial Water Bird Nest Monitoring and Protection Program is keeping the nesting islands clean and free of monofilament, fishing lines and other debris.

Fishing line entanglement and ingestion is a serious threat to the survival of wading birds. Birds can become entangled while wading or swimming in the water. Many use monofilament as nesting material which can wrap around and kill nestlings. Starvation from ingesting hooks and monofilament from fish that have broke the line is very common and so is starvation from line wrapping around their necks and accumulating in their stomachs preventing digestion.

Staff and volunteers clean nesting islands and potential nesting islands twice a year; once before the nesting season begins in early February and again after the nesting season ends in late October.

Birds killed by fishing line entanglement or ingestion have been found at almost every cleanup outing. This is an unfortunate consequence that can be remedied by consciousness and care. Fisherman should properly dispose of monofilament in recycling bins that can be found at piers and boat launches. The immediate removal of monofilament when it becomes entangled is important. The use of proper test line for the intended fish species and fishing technique prevents line from breaking.

Everyone, not only fisherman can help prevent bird kills by fishing line entanglement. When you are out enjoying the beaches and waterways and you come across monofilament pick it up and recycle it or go one step further and volunteer to assist the aquatic preserves staff in their cleanup efforts.

Contact the Charlotte Harbor office at (941) 575-5861 for more information and volunteer opportunities.

Brown pelican hung by fishing line

Brown pelican hung by fishing line

Last updated: April 12, 2013

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