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
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