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Please Remove and Recycle Monofilament Fishing Line

We need to remove and recycle all monofilament fishing line that we come across. Notice I said remove? I know you probably bring YOUR line home, but what about the line you come across on the river? This is just good fly fishing etiquette.

Why do we need to remove and recycle monofilament fishing line?

  • Fishing line is not biodegradable and can persist in the environment for up to 600 years.
  • Animals can become entangled in the line, causing them to:

       Drown or starve.

       Become vulnerable to predators.

       They can even lose a limb as they struggle against the line.

  • Thousands of seabirds are rescued annually due to hook and line entanglements.
  • Fishing line can become tangled in the propellers of boats.
  • Scuba divers have been entangled in fishing line and ran out of air.
  • And of course the environment always suffers from litter.

What Are You to Do with the Line Now that You Have Removed It?

Look for a monofilament recycle bin near popular fishing locations. There have been over 17,000 bins installed so far. These are made from PVC pipes and are attached to a pole. They are made available by the BoatU.S. Foundation and other local organizations like fishing clubs.

There are also indoor bins in some tackle shops, which are made of cardboard.

Here is a short video describing the problem and what you can do. There is always a need for more volunteers.

If you cannot find a recycling container you can mail the line to:

Berkley Recycling

1900 18th Street

Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360

Berkley then uses the line to make underwater fish habitat structures. It cannot be recycled with other plastics in your home recycle programs.

If you must put it in the trash then cut the line in lengths of twelve inches or less so it will not be a threat to animals.

A Final Thought on Monofilament Fishing Line

As a final thought, you may come across monofilament fishing line during the summer months that may have been hard to get to when fishing in the winter.

I was fly fishing for summer steelhead in western Oregon when some fishing line almost knocked my hat off. The brush was thick and I imagine the water would have been pretty high last winter to put it there.

Enjoy the summer fly fishing but don’t forget to remove some of the line that your fellow winter fishers (or you) may have found very hard to remove.

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