State wildlife officials remind anglers discarded fishing line is dangerous to animals |

State wildlife officials remind anglers discarded fishing line is dangerous to animals

Fishing line and sinkers are shown tangled around the leg of an osprey found dead earlier this August on a creek bank in northwestern Colorado.
Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife |

Fishing line can help you reel in the big one, but when monofilament is left carelessly along a lake or river it can be harmful to wildlife.

Every year throughout the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife receives reports from people who find birds ensnared by fishing line. In early August, CPW received a call about a dead osprey on the banks of Trout Creek in the Routt National Forest in northwestern Colorado.

“The line was wrapped around the osprey’s feet and neck,” Andrea Sponseller, CPW wildlife officer, said in a news release. “Anglers should never discard fishing line, hooks or bait along a waterway.”

Some anglers also clean their catch next to the water and leave the guts along the bank. That can attract bears and other wildlife. Fish should be cleaned well away from a lake or river and the entrails properly disposed of in a dumpster or garbage can.

“If you see discarded line or other fishing gear, please pick it up,” added Sponseller. “You’ll help keep fishing areas clean and remove a hazard that could kill Colorado’s wildlife.”

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