Even in our urbanized world, our lakes, streams, bays and estuaries are home to beautiful birds such as this Great Egret hunting at Lake Hodges. We remove threats from their environment to keep them safe.
Our aquatic birds are threatened by many things, and one might surprise you: fishing line. Fishermen lose their line, hooks and lures by snagging them in shrubs or trees, often below the water line where they are difficult to retrieve. Some fishermen are careless, but many try their best to retrieve their gear. A lot remains in natural areas, where birds and other wildlife get caught on hooks or entangled in line. Either is often fatal.
We found this Great Egret while retrieving fishing line one recent morning. We are sad that we could not prevent its death. This area had been examined carefully just two days earlier. We try hard to remove threats, but with miles of shoreline and fishing going on every day, we cannot examine every inch of shoreline.
We need more kayaks and walkers covering the shore. It is enjoyable work that anyone with a little patience can do well at. It’s beautiful and relaxing. Plus it feels great to prevent unnecessary deaths of beautiful animals.
We train all volunteers, whether they work from a kayak or the shore. If you are interested, please contact me or post your interest in the comment section. I take people out on Wednesday mornings for screening and training and I sometimes have a seat available on a Saturday or Sunday mornings. If you have a kayak, you can then go out alone. If you don’t, you can go out with me in our tandem kayak. Or you can walk the beaches where you see fishing from the shore and gather line and litter.