In a continuing effort to protect wildlife from the harmful effects of incorrectly disposed of fishing line, three Forest Preserve visitor centers are now distributing small personal fishing line recycling containers.
The free, small “grab-and-go” containers can be used by anglers to store fishing line until they can dispose of the material properly.
The containers are upcycled bottles, jars and canisters that have being adorned with stickers to indicate their use. They are available at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, lsle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville and Monee Reservoir in Monee Township.
Fishermen can keep the containers with their gear, so there is no need to toss fishing line into the preserves where it can injure or kill animals that come into contact with it and become entangled.
The new program is being offered in conjunction with the monofilament recycling program the Forest Preserve runs from its main fishing lakes. Fishing line disposal canisters are set up at these fishing sites to encourage anglers to recycle, rather than discard their monofilament line.
“The program as a whole has proven very successful,” said Ben Hecke, the Forest Preserve’s community partnerships and outreach coordinator. “We will not know the exact amount of line collected until after the season, but we have seen exceptional amounts collected from sites at Lake Chaminwood, McKinley Woods, Monee Reservoir and Whalon Lake.”
These new portable containers offer an opportunity for anglers to neatly contain their discarded monofilament fishing line in their tackle box or bag, Hecke added.
“Then, they can empty the container into one of the larger recycling containers at our busier fishing preserves or take it to a visitor center.”
Forest Preserve staff collected all kinds of items to convert into the containers including potato chip tubes, peanut butter jars and nut tins, he added.
“They will be available at the visitor centers, or you can ask staff for one and they will be able to facilitate while supplies last,” Hecke explained.
Roving interpretive naturalists who will be out in the preserves also will be distributing the containers.
At the end of the season, the collected line will be sent to Iowa-based Berkley, a fishing gear and supply company. According to the company’s website, Berkley will melt the monofilament line into plastic pellets which can then be turned into products such as tackle boxes, spools for fishing line, toys and fish habitat structures.
Berkley Conservation Institute has recycled more than 9 million miles worth of fishing line since 1990, enough to fill two reels for every angler in America.
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