Being an avid fisherman, I will try for trout, cod, mackerel, and most other fish you can find in our region.
As you might expect, this means I do a significant amount of hiking along ponds, lakes and overland into the wilds. There are some incredible, underrated sights in this beautiful region of ours that not many others get to see, but among those sights that I love, I also see things that cause nothing but distress.
You know where this is going – garbage.
I have been a resident of the Southwest coast for about five years now, having moved back to my hometown from the big city to relax and enjoy nature. But I would say that there is not a single pond, lake, brook or trail that I have visited, that isn't polluted by our indifference.
I have seen entire washer and dryer sets thrown by a brook, cast iron stoves sitting in a pond. Beer cans, plastic bags and shotgun shells run along trails more frequently than the wildlife does. Wrappers, coffee cups, fishing gear packaging are quite literally everywhere I go.
It is both infuriating and heartbreaking.
Like you, I see all the posts on our local social media groups calling out the cups and fast food waste we see in town. And like you, it irritates me to no end to know that a person cant even wait for the drive time it takes them to get home or to swing over to a public garbage can to dispose of it properly.
When it comes to being out in nature, no matter where you go, it takes preparation. I am a firm believer in the “take in take out” philosophy.
If I carry it into the woods, it comes back out. So I carry two bags with me anytime I head off for the day. It takes a moment of thought to put a plastic bag in your backpack or even to put a worm container in your basket, yet it seems that I now consider myself lucky if I have a day where I don't see garbage when I go fishing.
I haven't had a lucky day in quite a while.
We all need to do better. We all need to take 20 or 30 seconds and pick up what we have dropped or soon there won’t be a clean place to throw a line anymore.
So please make that small effort, and reap the reward of knowing you've helped everyone, including the avid fishers, outfitters and nature lovers in the generations to follow.