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Now before you get too excited, let me just say that this is not going to be one of those blogs that is jam packed with great strategies on how to dissect structure along the bank. In fact, it’s really not about fishing at all. It’s really more about something that I do when I can’t go fishing. Something I have been doing quietly and perhaps selfishly, to get my kids off the video games. No, this isn’t going to be a blog about parenting practices either, it would be far fetched for me to try something that crazy. It’s about the dirty, behind the scenes, work I find essential to being a good steward for the environment. I’m talking about trash picking. That’s right, rolling up your sleeves, slapping on some latex or non-latex gloves, (safety first), and going out to one of your favorite launch points or boat ramp, or two or three, and cleaning the place up.

I realize that this isn’t glamorous, and I probably won’t get a ton of likes but that’s okay. If just one person that reads this is motivated to join me in helping clean up the banks along their local waterway, then its a success. Imagine all the good you can do personally, by making a small commitment of time and effort to collect a bag of trash a week. I say this because this is precisely what I have done. I know that this is small in scale, but it has a direct impact in helping to make our waterways cleaner. Simple math, one bag a week turns into fifty two bags a year. To me, that is less trash both locally and potentially, less trash downstream. So over time, the area you have a positive affect on is expanded.

Now I don’t want give anyone the impression that I am a pillar of the “go green” movement or anything like that but I have been doing this for some time and I felt like this was a good time to spread the word and get others involved. I know that I can’t be the only kayak angler out there that knows of a stretch of water that needs a little help. I often find river or creek banks that have an inordinate amount of garbage strewn about while on my many pre-fishing or scouting excursions. I just make a mental note of the place and come back to it later. Get fired up people, just think about all the good you can be doing. One bag of trash less that is likely to end up having a negative impact on birds, fish, and any number of aquatic mammals. Just about anyone that spends time on the water knows of a particularly beautiful span of river that could be improved, if only ever so slightly, by the removal of some trash that’s been dumped or carelessly left behind by someone else.

If you have read along this far, and are thinking about joining me in this mini crusade, please consider the following:

1. Be safety conscious.
2. Dress appropriately for the weather and always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
3. Be extra careful around traffic from passing motorist and while parking near roadways adjacent to water.
4. Make sure to use gloves, both to protect your hands from sharp objects and to minimize exposure to germs and bacteria.
5. Use quality trash bags, I opt for the 30-33 gallon variety, that way I’m not tempted to over fill them and they don’t get too heavy.
6. Start out small and build up, don’t try to lift heavy objects by yourself, (if necessary remember it’s location and come back with help). Chances are good, it will still be there when you return.
7. Lastly invite kids, friends or family.
Make it fun, spread the word, turn it into an event, who knows you may earn a little good karma and we can all use that.

– Tony Heredia