25 June 2024

Great Blue Heron Rescue

I absolutely despise and loathe trotlines/juglines/throwlines.  I don't think it's really fishing; people forget where they put these unmanned lines spanning creeks, rivers, and other water body areas, not to mention a line may not be longer than 600 feet, have no more than 50 hooks, and spacing must be 3 feet or greater per hook.  Whoopie! some restrictions there.  

In early 2020, Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission did change the regulations requiring anglers to check their unmanned lines every six days instead of every 10 days, so that's something, and in 2024, 15 specific water bodies and all community lakes cannot have trotlines.  There is so much bycatch entrapped in these lines, that this method of catching should be outlawed.  Pick up a rod and go fish for goodness sakes.

Being outside and on the water, fly fishers are invariably conservationists, as well, which also means, knowing how to reach a Game Warden when needed.  Fortunately, TPWD publishes its Game Wardens and their contacts by county.  Skip 911; skip the state park; skip the operator; instead, access the Game Wardens by County webpage before heading out for a day's fly fishing excursion, and take a screenshot of the warden(s) in the county with their contact phone number.  That list is available here:  Game Warden Contact Info by County.

Regrettably, we needed a Game Warden recently, as we discovered an injured Great Blue Heron who had become entangled in an abandoned trotline or throwline.  We were able to free the bird, who did move to land on its own, and contacted a Game Warden, after phoning and leaving messages with three others, who did not return our call.  We do not know the status of the bird, who was in definite need of human assistance, as we had no idea how long it had been entangled.  We never saw a Game Warden arrive, though we had been told it would be awhile before he could make it to the area, but that he would come that date.  Even with the "improved" six-day maintenance, I don't think the Heron would have survived.  This line was old; the hooks were rusted; the bird was a victim of inane fishing practices that offer zero accountability.  

The Dodo YouTube Channel posts stories like these often across social media channels, and though we have seen many, this was the first encounter we have ever had.  Hopefully, we did some good by freeing the majestic bird, who suffered a wounded left wing, a wound to its neck, and hopefully by freeing its left foot, which it did start moving in the water, it did not lose the use of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


© 2009-2024 Photos by Cody Bell and flyfshrgrl. Content is the intellectual property of Photos by Cody Bell and flyfshrgrl. No part of this blog may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or for any purpose without the express written permission of the authors.