We need volunteers to help keep Lake Hodges cleared of threats to wildlife. Please contact us if you are interested.
If you love kayaking and you love wildlife, you’ve come to the right place. We use our kayaks to scour the shores of Lake Hodges removing fishing line, lures, hooks, weights, and plastic trash that can harm birds and wildlife.
This is a very hands-on approach to environmentalism. You will accomplish something real every time you go out.
We generally also work in a scenic pedal/paddle either before or after our work. Often we pedal down to the dam or up to the east end, then back to the area where we will be working that day. If we see a lure or bait cup along the way we will stop and get it, but we are generally moving too fast and too far out to see fishing line. Lake Hodges is a beautiful lake, every day is different, and this makes for a very pleasant experience.
When we arrive at our working area, we pull the pedals so we don’t damage the drive units and then paddle very slowly and within feet or even inches of the shoreline. We look over every shrub and rock for line and always find some. This sounds like work, but it is actually very relaxing. You are focused on a single, simple task – finding the line, removing it, or maneuvering the boat. You will find that you don’t think about your troubles or worries while you are doing this. It clears your mind and is a very Zen-like experience. Many of the people I’ve taken out in our tandem kayak say this is the best part of the day.
And because we are out there so much, we also occasionally come to the rescue of trapped or injured wildlife. Not often, just a few times in the spring. When they are caught or entangled in fishing line we feel very disappointed. This is why we need more kayaks out there. At most we can only scour about a mile of shoreline in a work day. In some areas half that. The lake is many miles in circumference, so it can take a week or more to get to every part of it. Any line that sits around waiting for us is line that can catch a bird. (Or bat. We’ve rescued a bat, too.) More kayaks searching for it will mean we can cover the lake faster and reduce the risk to the birds.
To volunteer, please contact me. The reservoir manager actually manages the entire watershed. He is a very busy guy and has asked me to recruit and manage the kayaking volunteers. I will arrange to take you out in my kayak for a day and show you the ropes. Then you’ll be able to do it on your own.
Of course you can gather fishing line without being a volunteer. But volunteering comes with some benefits that I will tell you about. It also comes with the support of myself and other volunteers. Who knows, we might even have a volunteer picnic this fall…
So once again: We need you. Please contact us if you are interested.