Article by Alice Mary Herden and Brittany Hall-Scharf UF/IFAS Extension Agent III
Photography by Alice Mary Herden
Summertime is full of great outdoor activities, and Hernando County has amazing locations for many to enjoy kayaking, boating, scalloping, and recreational fishing. Since we’re spending so much time outdoors, it is also time to bring awareness to the importance of discarding the monofilament fishing line properly.
Monofilament fishing line can be severely damaging to the environment, so promoting the “do this, not that” program when discarding fishing lines is essential, not just during the summer months, but year-round. “The biggest component of this program’s success is that monofilament line is the ONLY item that is placed into these recycling tubes,” Brittany Hall-Scharf said. When volunteers clean out the recycling bins, it’s not surprising to find leftover bait bags with rotting bait, dirty diapers, needles, broken knives, water bottles, beverage cans, and leftovers or half-eaten sandwiches. All those items attract maggots and create an unhealthy and dangerous situation for volunteers.
UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County volunteer Joe Wachs regularly visits monofilament recycling tubes installed at coastal boat ramps and popular fishing locations. All bin contents are carefully removed and returned to the Extension Office, where unwanted items (i.e., partially eaten sandwiches, diapers, and trash) are thrown away. The remaining monofilament line is measured and shipped off to be recycled.
Where does the line go from here? The answer is Berkley Pure Fishing Company out of Columbia, South Carolina. When the shipment of recyclable monofilament is received, Berkley Pure Fishing Company melts the cleaned monofilament line into a usable form. Tackle boxes, toys, and fish habitats are made!
Monofilament recycling bins in Hernando County were sponsored by Hernando Environmental Land Protectors, Rural King, and Home Depot. UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County volunteers, Sarge Dendy and Joe Wachs assembled and installed the new bins. Sarge and Joe also repaired all of the bins that were previously installed at the coastal boat ramps.
If you are out fishing at these locations, you will surely find a monofilament recycling bin near you. Most bins are conveniently placed by picnic tables, fishing piers, and kiosks. When you do your part and help by properly disposing of monofilament lines you are also doing your part to protect wildlife in both marine and land environments.
Where monofilaments bins are located:
Alfred A McKethan Pine Island Park
Hernando Beach Marina
Weeki Wachee Marina
Blue Pelican Marina
Hernando Beach Motel