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By Rob BelloniJune 29, 2004

Take a room filled with fisherman and ask, "who wants to see garbage on the shore when you go to the lake?" No one would answer yes. Take those same fisherman and send them to the lake for a day, and what would be all over the shore when they left? Garbage. I don't know why, but fisherman as a group are some of the biggest litter bugs I can think of, and that stinks!

I'm embarrassed to be a fisherman when I walk the bank and see beer cans, worm containers, fishing line, fast food bags, and who knows what else all wadded up and chucked on the shore. When I meet people who don't fish, I wonder what they think. I know if I was a non-fisherman, and one day I happened to go to a local lake and look around, I'd probably figure fisherman where a bunch of losers who drank beer all day and were too lazy to throw away their trash. If you're guilty of throwing your trash on the bank or even worse, throwing it in the water, you should be ashamed.

When I was a little kid, we'd go to Huntington Lake and fish from the shore. My Dad would bring garbage bags down with us when we fished. And every day for a week we would fill them to the brim and throw them away at the Ranger station. 100 yards of bank and enough garbage to fill two or three bags every day for a week! This isn't a baseball stadium people. The janitors don't come at the end of the day and sweep it all away. This is the outdoors where no one is paid to clean up your mess and what you leave is going to stay there. I'm tired of it.

So that's the complaining part. We can all sit around and complain that the lakes and streams are littered with garbage. But what can we do to change it? No one likes to spend their weekend fishing time picking up trash. I sure don't want to spend my valuable time at the lake cleaning up some lazy person's mess. But if we take a minute here and a minute there, maybe we can make a small dent.

Here are a few really easy things you can do while you're out fishing to cut down on garbage:

* You're in your boat cruising down the lake and you see a floating bag or can. Take 30 seconds, steer the boat over, and pick it up.

* You snag a piece of line in a tree. Instead of cutting it off, you pull it up until it breaks, then wad it up (you might even score a free lure in the process).

* You get a bad spot in your line and have to cut off 10 or 20 feet. Instead of tossing it in the lake, you take 15 seconds to wrap it into a ball.

* At the end of the day, you take the cans, bags, and fishing line and throw them in the trash. Just doing these three simple things will fill the back of my boat with garbage and old line on some days. If you're in your brand new bass boat and you don't want to dirty the carpet, get a plastic bag and put it in a compartment. The 30 cents for the plastic bag is half what that 70 cent senko you just lost costs.

* You're walking back to the truck along the shore and you see some garbage on the shore. There's a garbage can by the truck so you grab a handful and chuck it. Easy.

If a few fisherman each day took just a few minutes of their time to toss a few pieces of garbage, we'd be getting somewhere. And maybe the fisherman down the bank who was thinking about leaving his trash on the shore will see you doing it and realize that maybe they shouldn't be so damn lazy.

This is a short update for the main page, but it's a simple concept. Take garbage, put it in the garbage can.

Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written consent.
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