Texas Stream Team Monofilament Finders: Final Report
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Over 2 million anglers fish in Texas annually and many leave fishing line behind. Monofilament takes up to 600 years to degrade, and when left in the environment, is disastrous for fish and wildlife. In addition to being an eye-sore across Texas waterways and coastlines, monofilament entangles and kills thousands of birds annually, such as roseate spoonbills and white ibises. Monofilament turns habitats into traps for otters, alligators, fish, and turtles like Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle.
Texas Stream Team Monofilament Finders was developed to work towards protecting habitats by engaging a well-established statewide citizen science network with partner organizations and others in monofilament education, collection, and recycling.
Harmful effects of monofilament line include the following categories:
- Entanglement of fish, birds, wildlife causes starvation, predation, drowning, amputations, and other injuries.
- Ingestion of plastics by fish, birds, wildlife can be poisonous or induce starvation.
- Line also poses risk for swimmers, boat propellers, bilge pumps, and intake valves.
This program addresses these risks by:
- reducing monofilament from fish and wildlife habitats;
- influencing thinking and behavior of Texas anglers;
- incorporating monofilament removal into existing Texas Stream Team Citizen Science activities, providing valuable data for research and additional stewardship opportunities;
- engaging partner organizations in raising awareness about impacts of monofilament on habitats; and
- compelling environmental stewardship from new audiences in a program that has a statewide scope.