Recently my husband and I explored a seaside area bordering Biscayne Bay, south of Miami. There, one of South Florida’s many drainage canals meets the ocean. The relaxing scenery included locals fishing with poles or cast netting in the canal.
We enjoyed chatting with a few of the anglers and walking along the canal banks near the ocean. Another fisher stood on the canal banks, a pristine white great egret.
After I took this shot, the bird lifted on long graceful wings and shifted shore locations, this time landing on a piece of driftwood protruding from the shore. We climbed a little hill above the egret’s roosting place to get a better look at the area.
The bucolic scene of anglers tending their lines and calm rippled seawater belied the tragic sight found in my camera’s viewfinder. The great egret stood on its right leg, while its left leg hung broken and useless. A tangle of fishing line and an embedded hook explained why.
A tragic number of wildlife succumb to fishing line and hooks every year. A bit of research showed me a few best fishing practices that protect wildlife:
- Refrain from casting near water birds
- Dispose of used fishing line properly
- Use barbless hooks
- Take a minute to pick-up after others
Many fishing areas and bait stores now provide boxes for recycling used fishing line. The location we visited did not have one, but I am going to see if I can change that. After all, God’s beautiful creation should be enjoyable for every visitor.