Friday, June 11, 2010
More solo cleanup
This year I am making a vow to clean up every spot that I fish. Maybe it is just a little bit of cleanup on one day or a lot of cleanup on another. I have made excuses in the past while stepping over this piece of litter or that hunk of junk. No more. My tackle bag will be loaded with at least a few of those plastic shopping bags for small trash pickups and a few 33gallon Hefties are put in the truck for full scale cleanup emergencies.
Another issue with my cleanup this year has been the fact that blizzard season was extended a bit longer. When we were facing that five-year drought cycle I had gotten spoiled by those sixty-degree days in February. Being able to clean areas even in late January when snakes and bugs are completely dormant made the late winter\early spring season fly right by. With constant blizzards and falling snow I was barely able to get cleanup projects going until late April and even early May. Now I am looking at early summer and just getting started.
Turning the tide is about changing the mentality of a small few. Maybe if folks started glamorizing pictures of trash haul outs and the crazy things they find\disposed of out there on the water it will help. The majority understands the importance of clean nature areas and they are just as disgusted by litter. But that small percentage still doesn’t seem to care. They can pack the beer and snacks in but don’t seem to have the energy or thought to haul it out. Maybe there should be a bounty or severe penalty for this.
There is actually.
Fight the battles you can win…fishing is low priority in regards to some waters and in those instances your help means so much.
Adopting the waters that treat you well can make a lot of difference. Don’t wait for some organized, promotionalized and socialized cleanup event to happen at your fishing spots before picking up the trash. Get out there and do what you can now. Let’s face it, big, organized cleanups are nice but they only cover a few places once a year. This barely makes a dent in the situation. There are thousands of anglers in Colorado visiting all sorts of waters on a routine basis. Engaging the masses to “clean what you can” is an even better if not the ultimate solution. This is not stating you shouldn’t attend the cleanup festivals. These are great too. Anything that focuses on trash pick up is great. What are you doing in the meantime? Are you waiting for someone to organize a cleanup project at your fishing hole? Don’t wait…just do it!
The best place to start is at your fishing spot in small amounts. Haul out what you can in small amounts every trip. Trust me it will make a dent and you will see a difference long term. If you don’t make a dent, maybe what you need is a more thorough “scrub” once a year. Not a lot of folks are willing to do this solo. This may be a good candidate for the cleanup party.
Take this swampy cove here. The wind and lake current will focus the trash into this swampy cove. This one spot could be a 15-minute chore all by itself. Next time I am packing some dishwashing gloves. You know…the kind that go up to your elbow?
After 10 years of emails, phone calls and roundtables…this is the only battle I seem to make any ground on whatsoever. So if you are like me and a little pissed off at the way people treat Colorado’s super-awesome-totally-amazing-natural-ultra-wild-and completely fantastic open space and fishing places? Pick up that trash instead of stepping over it. Swearing is the first step but picking that @#$%^& up is really the way to drive things home.
Yes, it is lame to pick up after people and apparently there are rules that say we cannot shoot litterbugs. Even firing a warning shot is illegal in most Colorado counties. Confrontation will only lead to trouble. Simply picking up the trash is the ultimate resolution and helps your personal backyard fishery out in so many ways. Maybe if folks glorified the “trash haul out” more and the “fish take out” less, we could reach optimum fishing in Colorado.
Good Luck and good fishing.
Posted by Coloradocasters