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WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Too precious a place to trash

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: Too precious a place to trash


Spring’s almost sprung.

The middle of last week I was at the Meriden Dog Park on Beaver Pond and was amazed to see a flock of red-winged blackbirds flitting around the brush and weeds on the shore of the pond.

I had said in an earlier column that they were my harbinger of spring.

And then the temperature dropped low enough to form some skim ice on some of the ponds and even gave us a small flurry of snow last Saturday. This has been one crazy winter, to say the least.

But it has also been a troubling winter as far as I am concerned. You have to wonder what some people are thinking as they thoughtlessly trash our city parks and country roads and, yes, even some of our suburban roads.

From the looks of the parking lot at Beavers, it has become a place to sneak a drink and then throw the drink containers out the vehicle window once empty. I was under the impression that all of our city parks were to close at dusk. Am I wrong in that belief?

Even with trash cans in the area, some thoughtless people still throw their empty containers out into the parking lot and surrounding areas — and not just alcohol either. There are enough empty coffee and soft drink containers to make one wonder what makes folks do something like that?

Take a drive around some of our backroads and you will see what I am talking about. I have seen everything from discarded lawn mowers to sofas, mattresses, TVs and even some of those kids play toys.

I shudder to think that these countryside trash deposits are being done by parents. If this the case, what kind of message are they sending to their offspring? That it is OK to dump your trash anywhere you want just so long as it is on someone else’s property and not your own?

It is also the responsibility of all of us to report such trash dumping and, better yet, pick some of it up if at all possible.

This is not just a city problem. This type of trash dumping is nationwide and beyond. A number of years ago I made a fishing trip to a remote portion of Canada called Gogama Lodge. It was a beautiful spot that offered fly-in trips to remote lakes by float plane.

The lodge had a small fleet of float planes. Each morning my fishing buddy Tim Lajoie and I would be flown to a different lake to fish for walleye, smallmouth bass, trout and northern pike.

One of the lakes was really pristine and featured an island where a boat and motor were kept. The deal was that on any given day you would be the only ones on the lake. Believe me when I tell you, it was pretty remote.

On the day that we were on this particular lake, it became pretty hot and I told Tim to drop me off on the island where I was going to have my lunch and take a short snooze while he kept fishing.

While I was having my lunch, I saw a bit of bright red color peeking out at me through the greenery and thought that it might be a wild flower of some type. Imagine my surprise when I looked and instead found an empty, bright red beer can!

I had to wonder if it was the remoteness of the area that would prompt a fisherman to leave such a calling card in this beautiful wilderness or if they were simply someone who couldn’t care less about leaving their garbage for someone else to pick up.

I took that empty beer can out with me and, if you are wondering, it was a Canadian brand.

Speaking of fishing and trash, there are quite a number of fishermen who should pay more attention to what they are leaving along the shorelines of the waters they fish.

This generally applies to some bait fishermen who seem to think that after the bait container is empty, it is all right to discard it and leave it when they are finished fishing.

Maybe there should be a deposit charge on those styrofoam containers the bait comes in. This way the fisherman can come back to the bait shop of their choice and apply the redemption to their next bait purchase.

This is not just for the freshwater anglers. I have seen the same scenario repeated many times while fishing saltwater. 

The worst offenders I have seen are those who have to have a cold brew or something even a bit harder while they are fishing. While I have no problem with that (although law enforcement might) I do have a problem with them leaving their empty beer cans and bottles right where they were fishing.

The cans weigh a lot less than when they were full, so why not take them out with you?

The same can be said for some of our parks like Hubbard Park. Hubbard Park is a beautiful spot to picnic, but time and time again I have seen folks enjoy a fast food lunch at one of the picnic tables at the park and, when they are finished chowing down, simply leave their trash on the table.

As for some of our area fishermen, there is absolutely no reason to litter the shoreline with empty hook containers or lure wrappers.

The very worst trash scenario on some of our fishing spots is when a thoughtless angler discards a tangle of monofilament fishing line on the shore or in the water. This can become a death trap for wildlife and fish! I can’t count the times that birds have become tangled up in the monofilament and perished. Many times it is a slow, painful death.

Please, if your line is tangled and has to be discarded, bunch it up and put it in your pocket or tackle box to be properly disposed of when you are finished fishing. 

That’s enough lecturing for today. Let’s keep our fishing spots, road sides and parks clean!

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.