Currents June 2017

Did you know that the Great Lakes are the biggest freshwater source in the world? Lake Erie is the most productive for fishing of all the Great Lakes. Your support helps make our streams clean, clear and healthy so they can support this complex ecosystem. By donating to PCS, you help us reach our goals of restoring rivers that lead to Lake Erie beaches that promote fishable and swimmable conditions for generations.

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June1We are excited to announce this year’s Get the Lead Out (GLO) public events! Join us for our first outing on June 13th, 6:00-8:00pm, at the Siegert Lake parking lot at Side Cut Metropark. Since the spring fishing runs, over three miles of the Maumee River between Perrysburg and Maumee need to be cleaned and we need your help. This program is great for volunteers of all ages and can be done throughout the summer season, while the water levels are low.  You can also schedule your own Get the Lead Out, whenever is convenient for you. In 2016, GLO volunteers collected over 9 trash bags full of line!  Still need convincing that this program is a great fit for you and your family? Check out this video!

As mentioned before, our first Get the Lead Out event is on Tuesday, June 13th.  For those of you who like to plan ahead, here are the additional public dates throughout the summer (weather permitting): June 27th, July 11th, July 25th, and August 8th. These dates and locations are also on our website calendar. These events are open to everyone and all experience levels are welcome.  Please come prepared with appropriate shoes and attire – we suggest close-toed, waterproof or old shoes, and clothing you don’t mind getting wet or dirty.  We will provide the supplies. This is another great way we can protect our precious rivers!

June2Another great opportunity to help reduce the amount of fishing line left along our rivers is by adopting one of our fishing line recycling bins! Currently, we have 20 bins installed throughout the Toledo area at various parks and fishing hot spots. Some locations include International Park, Cullen Park, Orleans Park, Side Cut Metropark, and the National Museum of the Great Lakes. We need volunteers, like you, to adopt these bins for the summer and early fall. Adopting a bin means that you will empty the contents, sort and clean the line, record the amount of line and lead collected, and return the line and lead to the PCS office (each time or at the end of the season).  If interested in adopting a bin, please check out our website for more information or call our office at (419) 874-0727. 

June3Every spring, thousands of anglers from across the country come to northwest Ohio to fish as several different species begin to travel upstream to spawn, including walleye and white bass. Fishing benefits the local community in many ways and offers an economic boost through tourism. However, sometimes what is left behind after these spring fishing runs isn’t as pretty. Over the years, our cleanup volunteers have collected over 300 pounds of lead, hundreds of feet of fishing line, and hundreds of pounds of trash along the Maumee River near popular fishing sites.  It is not fair to single out the anglers who come to our area as the sole source of this fishing line, lead, and trash; however, we have installed 20 fishing line recycling bins throughout the greater Toledo area to provide anglers a proper place to dispose of unwanted or broken line. 

Fishing line, if left alone along rivers and lakes, will remain there for at least 600 years. We have seen and heard of several instances of wildlife, such as birds and snakes, getting entangled in fishing line or mistaking it for food. Majority of the time, we encourage volunteers to look for fishing line under rocks in shallow parts of the river, on tree branches, or buried under sediment along the riverbank.  The lead and line that is found during these cleanups is eventually sorted, cleaned, and sent to a Partner to be recycled and reused.

Unfortunately, a lot of fishing line and lead is not found during our cleanups and it is up to anglers and other water recreationalists to help remove this type of marine debris from our waterways. To gauge the scope of the fishing line problems we are facing on our local waterways, Partners for Clean Streams reached out to Brad Dunkle, owner of Wildwood Anglers to get input from someone who is out on the front lines of the issue. When asked about how much fishing line he finds while guiding fishing trips or out scouting, Brad said, “The Maumee River gets pretty crazy. There are just so many spots on the banks that line can get snagged and you can tell that some of it has been there for quite a long time. When the water level starts to drop and clear up a bit I find unbelievable amounts of line and lures. Once I found 50 floating jigs in one outing!”

When questioned about what efforts we can take to raise local awareness about the problem Brad added, “When I am out on the river I pull as much line as I can carry either on my person or in my boat, but I am only one person. I make it a point to teach my customers about not only how to properly dispose of any line they use, but to make a habit of picking up any line or lures they see while they are fishing. There is more to owning a business than simply making money. As a guide and lover of the outdoors I feel as if we have a duty to protect our resources, especially the gem that is the Maumee River. That is why Wildwood Anglers is committed to conservation, preservation and to building awareness of how to protect our local resources."

Currents: June 2017

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Terry Shankland
President of the Board
Private Citizen

Andrew Curran
Vice President
Assistant Scout Executive,
Boy Scouts of America

Colleen Dooley
Attorney, Private Practice

Kyle Spicer
Private Citizen

Deanna Bobak
Board Member
Private Citizen

Denise Fonner
Board Member
Private Citizen

Jeff Gibbs
Board Member
Private Citizen

Joan King
Board Member
Private Citizen

Chris Smalley
Board Member
Park Services Supervisor
Metroparks of the Toledo Area

Patrick Lawrence, Ph.D.
Past President of Board (non-voting)
Associate Dean, College of Arts & Letters
University of Toledo

Partners for Clean Streams Inc. is striving for abundant open space and a high quality natural environment; adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife; stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources; and rivers, streams and lakes that are clean, clear and safe