Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Spring Fishing – Cornwall Ontario – May 23, 2010

Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner

Cornwall ON – As the growth and renewal of Spring continues our minds drift to the days to come which will be spent outdoors; often including activities in or on the water.

Fishing is a pastime that many have enjoyed for generations whether for sustenance or sport. Please do consider the following when out and about on your fishing adventures.  It is most important to clean and remove any plant or animal material from your boat before transporting it and placing it in another body of water.

Transporting and launching a boat without forethought could introduce a species into another area which could have detrimental affects upsetting the natural balance of an area. This also goes for live bait. Please do inform yourself before purchasing and using live bait for fishing.

Is the bait you are using permissible or advisable to use or free in the lake you are fishing? Fish bought at your local pet store are not meant to live in our lakes and streams. Again, the balance of any given area is at peril should a species be introduced that competes with a natural species. Please think and investigate before action is taken.

Are you in the habit of using lead weights?  Please consider using weights made of other material such as steel, bismuth, tin or tungsten as lead is critical to life of waterfowl and water birds. CAUTION…Zinc weights are also sufficiently toxic to loon and aquatic birds according to website listed below. A loon’s ingestion of a lead weight can lead to death within 24 hours. According to an article on ‘nearly half of the adult loons found dead or dying on New England freshwater lakes submitted to the Tufts University Wildlife Clinic have been diagnosed with lead poisoning’. There are areas that have completely banned or restricted the sale and use of lead fishing weights because of its effect on waterfowl. It cost only cents more to use a product that will eliminate this needless poison and waste.

You can help to alleviate this potential danger by letting the fishing people that you know about this problem. Urge them to use and buy only lead and zinc free lures and weights. If you notice lead and zinc products in your local bait or fishing supply store…let them know about the problems associated with these products. Understand that once a bird has ingested this poison the potential life threat will be passed along to the animal that decides to feed on it.

When out on the water, do keep an eye out for the turtles who take advantage of the summer hot weather by basking on the surface of the water. You can eliminate potential fatalities and injuries by boat propellers of these species at risk of extinction by proceeding with caution at shallower depths.

Speaking of a helping action…while in attendance at a Cornwall Community Meeting this week Mr. Sylvain Diotte suggested that if neighbours within higher density communities agreed to place their garbage and recycling together on pick up day this could potentially reduce our carbon footprint. If every two neighbours did this, the collection agency would make half as many stops, hence less use of fuel, less stopping and going ergo less green house gases.  Consider teaming up with a neighbour. A small change like this by many could make an amazing difference.

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