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Iowa DNR: Anglers trashing shoreline is major problem

Trout at Big Blue
Trout at Big Blue

Littering is not only an eyesore; it shows a lack of respect someone demonstrates by leaving their trash behind for others to clean up. And that reputation as litterbugs nearly cost the Des Moines fishing community the opportunity to fish along the new Des Moines River Walk.

“Anglers nearly lost the opportunity to fish a premier location because of litter. This should serve as a wakeup call to take better care of our resources and clean up after ourselves,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of fisheries for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

“We are using a lot of energy and resources to get people fishing and when they come out to a shoreline they see all this trash on shore. That’s pretty disappointing.”

A number of civic and conservation groups spend countless hours volunteering their time to clean the shorelines of the empty bait containers, old fishing line, pop and beer cans, chips and candy wrappers and so on.

“Just about anything you can carry with you fishing, we’ve probably cleaned it up,” Larscheid said.

The solution, he said, is not that difficult. Anglers should tuck a few plastic grocery sacks in their tackle bag and use it for trash.

“When you’re done fishing, carry the sack out with you. Pretty simple,” Larscheid said. “It’s our resource and we need to do a better job of keeping it clean, and that includes not throwing rough fish on shore. That leaves a terrible, smelly mess.

“If you don’t want to eat the fish, either throw it back to the water or give them to someone who does. Don’t leave it to rot on the bank; that makes the area less family friendly and a rotting mess. And, it’s littering,” he said.

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I always take my empty beer cans home – these plus minimum wages help pay my property taxes to the british speaking people at city hall (hic)

The only thing is it isnt just fisherman causing this. Swimmers and boaters to. Last year I felt luck by catching a plastic bag with some money in it and a few other things. But when people are to lazy to to pick up behind themselves its different.

Why is it that people do this? Are they just lazy or do they not care? I see them dump stuff out of their cars and on the streets all the time. Not to long ago a car load of young girls stopped in the street and threw out their fast food sack. I saw them do it and told them to pick it up or I would turn them in. They did but gave me the finger and called me names when they were leaving. I just do not understand some people.

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