The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Friends of Gile Flowage installs fishing line disposal units


Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

THE FRIENDS of the Gile Flowage have installed PVC-pipe fishing line recycling units at boat landings on the flowage. It will allow fishermen to properly dispose of unwanted or used fishing line, rather than littering or throwing it in the garbage, where it can harm animals that try to eat it or use it for nesting material.

GILE, Wis. - Most fishermen are used to seeing the unfortunate sight of strands of monofilament fishing line in the water and surrounding brush, a sight the Friends of the Gile Flowage hopes becomes less common.

It has recently installed PVC-pipe fishing line recycling units at boat launches around the flowage.

As the monofilament isn't biodegradable, it can pose a hazard to the flowage's animals, according to Cathy Techtmann, FOG president.

"As a high-density plastic, it can persist in the environment for hundreds of years. Loons and other birds and animals can easily become entangled in its resulting in injury, drowning, strangulation, or starvation," Techtmann said. "Many animals and fish mistakenly ingest fishing line, causing death."

She warned loose line can also damage boat motors if it gets tangled.

The group has installed units at three of the flowage's boat landings, including the Gile Park, Pence 4H and Sucker Hole landings. One was already in place at the County C boat landing.

In addition to not wanting the fishing line to be left outdoors, the group is also urging those fishing not to throw it out in the trash.

"Once line goes to a landfill, it may be scavenged on by animals trying to eat it or build nests out of it. Animals may become entangled, entangle their young or bring the line right back out into the environment," Techtmann said.

The group will take the line collected in the PVC-pipe disposal units to the Ashland Department of Natural Resources Center - it's not recyclable in Iron County - where a recycling program converts it into a number of products, including tackle boxes.

The units were built by FOG members Clyde and Jeremy Smith, as one of the group's stewardship projects.

- Richard Jenkins


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