Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Extras | All Access e-Edition | Home RSS

What to do with old fishing line

July 18, 2009
By GENE PAUSZEK, OBSERVER Outdoors Columnist

Recently a friend commented that they noticed a bin for anglers to throw their old/used fishing line in for the purpose of recycling. Some of the anglers were wondering, why bother?

Here are some answers from Going "Connecting people to coastal waters".

First off, fishing line most often is monofilament. Mono for short is a strong flexible plastic line, which is manufactured in a single strand. Mono is harmful to wildlife (fish included), because usually they cannot see it, so it is easy for them to become entagled in it. They may starve, drown, or end up losing a limb. Some animals may accidentally eat mono and they cannot digest it. If not discarded properly, it can be really bad for the animals. More than a few boaters have had fishing line wrap around their propellers resulting in damage.

Article Photos

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Gary Marcinkowski displays a walleye with a lamprey attached. The lamprey was silver and white and attached to the stomach of the walleye. The lamprey length was about half the length of the host walleye.

Some of you anglers have experienced brittle fishing line that was left in direct sun light for a period of time. How can this same stuff become an environmental problem? According to G.C., the sun's ultraviolet rays are responsible for causing mono to break down and become brittle. However UV rays cannot penetrate very far below the surface of the water. So, line underwater or even in the shade, will not break down.

Some anglers report that they throw away their line in the garbage. Is this practice safe? In theory it should be, however, your line still could end up in the environment. Birds, small animals and even the wind can pull line out of a landfill area. If you do continue to throw your line in the garbage, take a moment to cut it into smaller pieces. About 12-inches in length.

The best solution is to recycle your old fishing line by placing it in recycling containers, which are often located at boat ramps, parks, piers or some tackle shops. When the bins or boxes are full, volunteers collect them and ship them off. The line will then be chopped up, melted and used to maufacture small plastic pellets which are then used in the manufacturing of new plastic fishing related products, like tackle boxes or artificial fish habitats. For more information on monofilament recycling, or if your area needs a recycle bin, call Going Coastal at (718) 243-9056.

While covering the recent AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic last weekend, this columnist noticed that at least one angler reported to the weigh-in site with a lamprey attached to their walleye. Lampreys are eel-like in appearance and are considered a parasite. They have a mouth filled with rasp like teeth which they use to asfix themselves to a host (fish), living off the blood and vital fluids of the host. Usually salmonids are targeted, but other fish have obviously been hit. My contact at the Dunkirk based Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries station commented that the Fish & Wildilfe Division would like photos of non-salmonids (walleye, bass, etc.) that have visible evidence of lamprey wounding or lampreys attached. Call 366-0228 during weekdays, from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Calendar: There is a New York State Safe Boating Course offered at the Chautauqua Marina, located at 104 West Lake Road, Mayville, July 19 and Aug. 16. These are one-day courses that will start at 9:30 a.m. There is a $35 fee per person plus a fee for the instruction booklet. To register, call 753-0409 or e-mail For boat safety tips, laws and updates, contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Marine Division at 753-4929, or better yet, visit their Web site at

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will be offering an archery safety course on July 18 (one day) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-register at Cassadaga Shurfine.

They will also offer Hunter Safety training courses (two day mandatory) on Friday, July 24 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. returning on Saturday, July 25 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pre-register at Cassadaga Shurfine.

The Lakeshore Longbeards will meet on July 21 at Liberty Vineyards at 7 p.m. for finalization of Jake's Day which will be held on July 25 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club. The event is open to the public. Cost is $10 per youth. There will be lots of give-aways including a blue bird house for all the kids. Registration is at 9 a.m., at the Westfield Rod & Gun Club. To sign up call Bob & Judi Turk at 934-4538.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will offer a hunter Safety Training Course (two day) on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 from 5 to 10 p.m. both days. Sign up on the first day.

The Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle store at 2415 W. Lake Road, Ashville 14710 will host a Musky Fishing seminar on July 24, featuring Jim Bortz, one of the writers from Musky Hunter Magazine. Local Techniques will also be covered by Charlie Brant and Red Childress. Refreshments will be served from 6 to 7 p.m., with the seminar scheduled at 7 p.m. For more information, call 763- 5815.

The Can-Am, Canadian version of the Amara-Can will take place on July 25-26. Entry fee is $250 Canadian. Three- or four-man teams are allowed with a limit of 100 teams. The top 10 tems will receive payouts. There is a six fish (walleye) limit each day. There is also a pre-fish tournament on July 24. The Canadian entry fee is $80. Weigh-in deadline is 4 p.m. Three walleye only. Call Peter Leavere at 905-834-5607 or cell (905) 714-6383 or log on:

The North East Marina 11950 East Lake Road, North East Pa., will present their Sixth Annual Yellow Perch tournament on Aug. 1-2. Net proceeds will benefit the NE School District "Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs Program." Call (814) 725-8244 for information or log on

The Northern Chautqua Conservation Club's Fifth Annual Walleye Derby is a sellout. The event is July 31 through Aug. 2. The captain's meeting is scheduled for July 30 at the "Con Club" at 6 p.m. Dreamweaver Lures is a Super Major sponsor for 2009, Hi-Tech and 3-D worm harnesses have "Corporate Day Sponsor Days" and Bill's Hooks again has donated a Fish Hawk Temp and Depth monitor.

Gene Pauszek is an outdoor columnist for the OBSERVER. Send comments to



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web