One man’s walleye catch comes with a reminder about the effects our litter has on our fisheries and the natural environment.
Jeff Lanteigne was walleye fishing when he pulled up a surprise with his catch: a plastic disposable drinking cup lid. The poor fish seemed to have gotten stuck after swimming through the lid for quite some time, leaving a ring of exposed flesh that bears evidence of the fish growing through the lid, like a neglected pet with a collar that’s too tight.
A smaller fish, the walleye would have made a good eating-sized specimen, but due to catch-and-release regulations on the lake, the angler carefully removed the plastic and released the fish to hopefully heal from its wounds. The wound being so close to the close the gills, Lanteigne says he probably would have released it anyway.
“…plus, how cool would it be for someone to catch that walleye a few years from now and he has a mean scar on his back!”
I like to give other anglers the benefit of the doubt when I find litter on the water. Sometimes, when you don’t have everything properly secured, it only takes a big wave or some wind to send your garbage overboard.
While it may be an accident, not having a system in place to keep your discarded waste from flying off the boat is careless. Using a box with a snap-top lid and placing it somewhere it won’t fly out when you’re moving from place to place is a good way to make sure your garbage gets to the landfill rather than the bottom of the lake.