I love summer and am so happy to use our rivers and lakes for recreation: swimming, fishing, boating, all warm weather pleasures. We do share Oregon’s waters with many other species whose lives depend on clean, healthy and unpolluted shores. We must be vigilant with our trash and our fishing lines.
Yesterday, on the railway bike path over the McKenzie River at Armitage Park, I found a dead juvenile osprey (the nest sits atop the railway bridge). The big, young bird lay on the tarmac with its legs completely tangled in fishing line, horribly crippled. How this happened I can only guess. Perhaps the parent osprey brought a fish with the fishing line attached and while feeding, the young bird became entangled.
Dr. Ulrick Streicher, veterinarian with the Cascades Raptor Center — Eugene’s wildlife hospital and rehabilitation facility — says every year she removes fishing hooks and lines from heron, geese, ducks and raptors who would starve if these foreign bodies weren’t removed.
We share our beautiful waters with the same animals and birds we love to watch while we are swimming, fishing and paddling. Let’s make a pledge to clean up and take home what we bring to the water.