Why Recycle Fishing Line?
New Mexico State Parks continues to provide and
expand a program encourages
visitors to recycle monofilament line and small lead sinkers. This program
a partnership between New Mexico State Parks,
New Mexico Game and Fish,
Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and the Berkley Pure Fishing Company. State Parks will establish monofilament recycling stations or “bins” at strategic fishing locations at state park lakes in New Mexico.
"Thrown out fishing line can last for hundreds of years, harming marine life and wildlife, and damaging boat propulsion systems,” said State Park Marine Law Enforcement Officer, Stephen Verchinski. “We will install 20 white PVC monofilament line recycling bins statewide and ask that fishermen and visitors
use recycling bins only for discarded fishing line and lead sinkers.”
Discarded fishing line can hurt or kill wildlife. In May 2013, this problem was highlighted when an osprey was discovered entangled in fishing line at Heron
Lake State Park. The female osprey attempted to leave a nest which was partially built with discarded fishing line. The osprey became entangled in the line and was left hanging upside down perhaps for a few days while its mate circled and called
The osprey was rescued and taken to the Wildlife Center in Espanola where it had one toe amputated and was nursed back to health. Fortunately, the osprey was taken back to where she was found on August 3, 2013 and was released back into the wild.
Impacts of Fishing Line
Not every story ends as happily as the Heron Lake State Park osprey. Fishing line left in the water,
on stream banks, or in trees is a hazard to animals who become entangled, leading to injury, disfigurement, drowning, strangulation, or starvation.
Fishing line impacts to fish and birds are dire, particularly for waterfowl such as osprey, geese and ducks.
They can become severely injured or can starve due to blocked digestion.
Small lead sinkers pose their own set of problems
much like monofilament.
The lead can be ingested by waterfowl and fish,
causing illness and death.
There is even a financial and operational cost to discarded fishing line, and boaters often feel the pain.
For example, boat propellers and jet drive impellers can get tangled with fishing line and seize up. Line can enter bilge pumps, water intake valves, or wrap around the lower unit causing damage.
How Can You Help?
To dispose of your waste monofilament properly, first be sure to store the line safely in a vest pocket or pouch until you are off the water. If your line gets snagged in the water or in the trees, do your best to gather up as much as you can. Some companies make containers that hook to your wader belt or vest for storing used line and trash.
Monofilament is made of high density plastics that can't be processed the same way as plastic bottles and food containers. Recycling stations or bins are made of PVC pipe and are mounted on trees and posts at selected boat ramps, marinas, and fishing sites.
Retailers are offered a chance to participate with cardboard bins, provided by Berkley Pure Fishing Company, these bins are designed for their stores or outlets. The gathered line will then be shipped to the Berkley, which melts the line down into raw plastic pellets that can be made into other plastic products such as the Berkley Fish Hab, an innovation that provides artificial structure in fish habitats. Other products include tackle boxes, spools for line, and toys. Any lead sinkers recovered will be recycled locally.
So far, approximately 9 million miles of line have been recycled due to nationwide efforts. If that amount was recycled into new line, there would be enough for two spools of line for each and every angler in America.
Want to Volunteer?
Expansion of the project is expected and will require groups or individuals to “adopt” a monofilament recycling station. This would involve the simple monitoring of a bin and would be a great project for scouts, 4-H groups, school clubs or service oriented organizations.
Suggestions for bin locations are encouraged. Interested retailers and groups or individuals wishing to volunteer should contact the state park office that they are interested in volunteering at. For park contact information, please visit www.nmparks.com.
State Parks would also like to remind shore fishermen that they must keep their fishing 150’ from boat launch areas and boat courtesy docks. Those areas are restricted to boat use only precisely because of lost monofilament causing line damage to boat propeller seals.
Current PVC Installations:
• Santa Rosa Lake
• Caballo Lake
• Percha Dam
• Bluewater Lake
(Sponsored by Muskies Inc.)
• Heron Lake
• Fenton Lake
• Eagle Nest Lake
• Santa Rosa Lake
• Sumner Lake
• Conchas Lake
• El Vado Lake,
• Coyote Creek
• Morphy Lake
• Sugarite Canyon
Other NM Waters:
• Quemado Lake
NM G & Fish
• Santa Cruz Lake
sponsored by the BLM