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Pick up Your Trash

Pick up Your Trash Pick up Your Trash
By Dave Adams

"Picking up someone else's trash is a disgusting thought to some, but a very necessary activity to others..."

She could not eat or drink, and she was barely able to breathe. The first day was agony; and by days end, she could barely walk. One the second day, she gave up all hope of surviving. She died.

On Saturday morning, I found her. Fishing line was hanging from her throat. The female duck had swallowed a hook. That hook was left on the shoreline with bait attached to it.

Many anglers don`t think about discarded fishing, until this happens

The crime scene was obvious. She did not find the bait in the river. There was enough debris, fishing line, bait containers, and hook packages to implicate every angler.

Death is not pretty. Neither is litter. It can kill, deprive you of your favorite angling spot, and it can be expensive.

In fact, according to Dan Tredinnick, a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission spokesman, litter is the number one reason for loss of fishing access. "Seventy five percent of all access to waterways is on private land," Tredinnick said. "And each year, landowners post more property because of littering."

This bait container was too heavy to pick up

"Trout anglers have the most to lose," Tredinnick added. "All it takes is one bait container carelessly left behind, and that landowner might post all access to that stream. This could result in an approved trout water being removed from the stocking list."

Law enforcement personnel spend many hours fighting littering and illegal dumping, warning individuals about the laws, and prosecuting cases in court.

In Pennsylvania, individuals can face fines imposed by nearly every branch of government, from local and state police and local code enforcement officers, to the enforcement by fish and game officers, and DCNR and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) personnel.

Fines of up to $300 can be imposed for violations of littering laws under the vehicle and crimes codes. Also, lands along the waterways of the Commonwealth as well as the waterways are protected from violators with penalties up to $100 under the Fish and Boat Code. Under the Game and Wildlife Code, fines up to $300, which can be doubled for subsequent offenses and additionally assessed for $10 for each item, are imposed. In addition, under PA Code Title 25, penalties as high as $25,000 can be imposed upon persons hauling waste to any site other than a DEP permitted facility.

This is a modern age with proper methods of disposal. At times, though, some people forget how easy it is to pick up trash.

"It is rather amazing how bait containers, pop cans, etc. become toooooo heavy for some folks to carry when they are empty, an unexplained principle of physical science," discussion board personality, Pheasant tail said.

An unexplained principle of physical science?

Please don`t litter and if you see trash, pick it up.

"Picking up someone else's trash is a disgusting thought to some, but a very necessary activity to others..." Pennsylvania Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer, Don Benczkowski said about the Pennsylvania's First Annual Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup, when volunteers covered about 37 miles of stream bank and Lake Erie shoreline and collected over 35,000 pounds of trash.

And, just in case I haven't jarred your interest into picking up litter, consider that just recently, a group called PETA - I`m not sure who they are, but I think it stands for People for the Eating of Tasty Animals - has litter, in particular the disposal of fishing line, as one of their reasons for wanting to ban fishing in all state parks.

Good Fishing,
Capt. Dave Adams

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Richard Sims | Posted: October 12, 2003

VERY good article, hope it teaches some to pack up before heading home. And very good point about PETA.