The Swan River has been an aquatic playground for generations. Other than fishing, the river is also used for boating, kayaking, jet skiing, yachting and watching various wildlife. We all share the river and we all appreciate it for different reasons. Many of our favourite fishing spots are also favourite spots for these other users and with a bit of common sense we can all continue to share our wonderful river system and prevent conflict with each other.
One of the conflicts that does sometimes occurs in our River is due to bird entanglement in discarded fishing line. When birds get tangled in fishing line it puts the animal under stress, can cause serious injuries to the bird and can even cause death. No one wants to catch a bird and seeing a bird caught up in fishing line can ruin a good days fishing.
The river is home to a multitude of bird species and with fishers and birds in such close proximity to each other, there is always a chance of bird getting tangled in fishing line. It’s up to all responsible fishers to know how to fish in a way that minimises the chance of entangling a bird and what to do if they do catch a bird.
The City of Bassendean have installed the above signs along the Swan River and I am sure more local councils will follow their lead. By following the simple points outlined in this sign we can reduce the number of birds that get tangled in fishing line every year and increase the survival of birds that do.
As well as knowing what to do if you find yourself with a tangled bird it is also important to dispose of your fishing line in a responsible way. Recfishwest have teamed up with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Native Animal Rescue to install Fishing line disposal bins around the River. For more information about these bins and their location click on the following link Fishing line Disposal Bins .
The tips above apply to fishing wherever you are. For more information and useful tips on avoiding and handling birds entangled in fishing gear visit the Southern Seabird Solutions Trust website by following the link https://www.southernseabirds.org/ . The page is a great resource aimed at commercial and recreational fishers as well as charter skippers, teachers and students.