Monofilament fishing line is an environmental hazard, which can cause harm by entangling wildlife, tangling and jamming boat props and polluting fisheries across the country. The strength properties we value in fishing line that help us to land those lunker bass are the same properties that require more than 600 years to break down in the environment. It is vital that we increase the uptake of recycling of used line and commit to disposing of it correctly. Even in a landfill, discarded line can cause problems to animals.
If you are an avid angler, it is likely you have seen fishing line recycling bins placed at many popular fishing spots. Thanks to a generous donation from the capital chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and some work from Scouts BSA Troop 117 from Mt. Jackson, Virginia, there are now seven more of these bins at locations in the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.
With their home located in the beautiful Northern Shenandoah Valley, Troop 117 has access to and spends a lot of time on our vast network of public lands and waters. From hiking and camping in the GW national forest and Shenandoah National Park to swimming and boating on the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River to fishing and wading in the many area creeks, these scouts are learning about conservation on our public lands from an early age.
The Troop worked with Lee Ranger District staff to identify suitable sites for the recycling bins at two popular recreation areas in the national forest. Three bins made the trip over North Mountain to the Trout Pond Recreation Area near Wardensville, West Virginia. These bins were placed in convenient locations surrounding Rock Cliff Lake, which offers opportunities for catfish, bass and stocked trout.
The four remaining bins were placed alongside Passage Creek in the Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area. Passage Creek is a Virginia Designated Trout Water, which is stocked eight times between October 1 and May 31. Sections of the creek are managed under no-kill, delayed harvest regulations, so be sure to check the regulations before heading out to fish this great trout stream.
Thank you to the capital chapter of BHA, Troop 117 and the USFS for this great effort to protect our public waterways.