Save Hooked Birds!
"Audubon Partnerships Reduce Waterbird Entanglement at Skyway Fishing Pier" ~ Audubon Florida News - July 2016
Our shorebirds and waders are in peril from fishing line and hooks!
- Sandy Reed, Sherry Keller, Jeanette Edwards
Photographer: George Veazey more photos
Click here to download our new brochure that outlines the perils our shorebirds and waders are in from fishing line and hooks, and what you can do! Read about Ann Paul and Mark Rachal's work with hooked birds in these two articles: "Seabirds' lives on the (fishing) line" and "Light but lethal, stray fishing line takes toll on seabirds" (Tampa Bay Tribune/tampabay.com).
Tampa Audubon has built a multi organizational committee that brainstorms and then implements ideas to decrease injuries and deaths to shorebirds and waders caused by fishing line and hooks. This is a HUGE problem, pervasive in all parts of the county, wherever fishing is allowed. We think that most people would do the right thing, if they knew what that was. For main talking points, click here.
1. IF YOU HOOK A BIRD, DON'T CUT THE LINE; Gently reel bird in and get some help to release
2. DON'T FEED WATERBIRDS ANYTHING THAT DRAWS THEM INTO CONTACT WITH PEOPLE AND FISHING TACKLE
3. PROPERLY DISPOSE OF EXCESS AND UNWANTED FISHING LINE
4. DON'T LEAVE POLES AND LINES UNATTENDED
5. COVER YOUR BAIT, DON'T DUMP BAIT ON GROUND
6. DON'T FEED BIRDS FISH CARCASSES
7. IF YOU FIND A BIRD TOO INJURED TO BE UNTANGLED AND RELEASED CALL FFWCC HOTLINE: 888-404-3922 FOR LOCAL REHABILITATORS AND RESCUERS.
Our committee has representatives from Tampa, St Pete and Manatee Audubon, Coastal Is Sanctuaries, DEP, FWC, Gulf Coast Bird Rescue, Save All Birds, Wildlife Rescue Service and the Skyway Pier. We are offering Basic Bird Handling and Rescue classes to train potential Bird Stewards to untangle and unhook birds, and to educate fishermen on how to keep from hooking a bird and what to do if they accidentally hook one. Lee Fox and Beth Weir are generously donating their time to educate us. You will hear more from our committee in the future, as we build our program. Please, for now, help spread this message gently to anglers at boat ramps, fishing piers and lakes. We don't want to be divisive; we want to educate. There are 43 boat ramps and fishing piers in Hillsborough County alone. That is not to mention all of the lakes and rivers where people fish. Recently, a young owl was hooked at Lettuce Lake; a Green Heron was killed by fishing line in a local lake. At the end of nesting season, many, many bird skeletons tangled in fishing line are removed from the islands where they have nested. Birds that are rapidly untangled suffer fewer permanent, disabling injuries that require expensive rehabilitation that is in short supply. We will be offering more Bird Handling and Rescue classes. Our current classes are full. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in a future class. More information will be posted under the Conservation header on this website. Look for more class offerings towards the end of August. Please make this your responsibility too. Thank you!