Saturday, June 4, 2011

After Work Trash Grab: Take Two

Picking up trash is an essential part of my fishing game plan but something that is tough to work into the schedule at times. This year I am way behind and scrambling to do both the cast as well as be a major player in the trash grab scene. The more I fish the urban side of things the more trash I see. It wears on me after a while and the places that used to treat me well get a good scrub.

4:45PM and I am looking to clock out, start the truck and hit some water. This was different than my usual after work cast grab. This would be an all out trash scrub scouring the shoreline for those oddments of refuse that was but one of the elements that had caused me to curse so badly on the last trip. Out of nowhere one of my seven bosses throws me that one last thing that could potentially take several hours to complete, which it does. This leaves me only a few hours of light before the sun slips behind the mountain divide trapping me in darkness.
“Looks like I only have time enough to cover the south edge and maybe trash cove.” I say reaching the lake and taking a look at the sun hanging just above the mountains.

The water level is still down and risen only slightly from the heavy rains. There is still a chance to remove a lot of junk that has been submerged keeping it out of reach. Most of the cans are rusted and full of mud. Wads and wads of fishing line pulled from rocks or wrapped around sticks were removed about every few yards. Broken glass was everywhere. It was the best I could do to pick up the large pieces (broken bottoms with the sharp edges pointing straight up) and what was nearby the small area of shatter.

Finally I reach Trash Cove. This is a small cove at the end of the lake that with wind and lake current collects a lot of debris. Cans and water bottles are fairly numerous along with tennis balls, tennis shoes and usually a dead animal of some kind. So much trash is submerged or buried in the moss that once you bend down to pick up one thing you see several more. Not exactly the serene setting you would like to see. The smell is just as bad sometimes if not a little worse.
The mud didn’t make the work any easier. This is the same place I did the mud bassin’ a few weeks past. When I first found the place back in 2005 the shoreline was a complete mess. Now I do a semi-yearly scrub and bag about 75% of a 33gal Hefty on the average. Some of this trash is left by wind. Another portion is due to juveniles. The rest is brought in from night traffic and accumulated over time.

The difference is many fold and may play out in ways that will never be seen. Less chemical particles from toxic containers and rusting metals is a good example. Not having the nearby homeowners tripping over trash and fishing line might quell the talks of closing this area to the public. At the very least the blight has been removed for now.

Good luck and good fishing


Cofisher said...

Matt, you continue to amaze me. I pick up trash around the places I fish, but you make a second job out of it. I will start carrying trash bags with me from now on. Thanks for continuing to help keep Colorado beautiful!

Leeny said...

Matt: Thanks for your blog you are a fisherman! I love that you pick up all that trash, thats great, we have a boat dock and there is always tons of trash on the beach it is sad. Love all your pictures. Thanks for wishing me luck on my triathlon. Kathye

John said...

It's truly amazing how quickly the garbage bag fills up when you're determined. Thanks for the post and the effort Matt.

FishCreekSpinners said...

Good job and kind of an Inspiration. Could be worth it to let the neighboring landowners observe your efforts or make a point of telling one or two. Thanks for the post.

Bill Trussell said...

I know where you are coming from. The lake I fish has trash that washes up in the back of coves--not all coves but some. I have been one who works to remove trash from the water when I see it. Our lake management board recently started a program to help in removing trash from the lake. I for one am for anything that will stop individual's from throwing trash in any lake. I have joined up with the management group to give one day a month to help remove trash from our lake. Thanks for sharing

alan said...

I commend you for your effort. In Vermont at the state park we see a lot of first time campers at our lake. You know, city folk who give it a go camping. It's awesome that they are out enjoying nature but, unfortunately they regularly neglect to clean up after themselves. OI!
It is always nicer after a day of picking up juice boxes and cigarette butts.