WPRI 12 – New Program Promotes Clean Fishing in RI

New program promotes clean fishing in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — This weekend is the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s free freshwater fishing weekend – and a local woman recently set up a recycling program to make cleaning up at your fishing spot a little easier.

Ocean State Tackle owner David Henault said he is passionate about clean fishing, and so is Bonnie Combs.

Combs, from the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, said she is especially bothered by the microfilament fishing line she sees left in the water and tangled on branches.

“Wildlife gets caught in it, animals eat it, it takes over 600 years to break down,” said Combs.

Now, thanks to Combs, local fishermen can stuff leftover lines in repurposed tennis ball cans. She reeled in the idea by learning about a program in Florida called “Stow It, Don’t Throw It.”

“The idea is to temporarily stow your line, if there is not recycling where you are, stow your line, bring it to a place that does have recycling or mail it back to Berkley yourself,” Combs said.

Berkley is a fishing line manufacturer with a knack for recycling.

“The coolest thing is that they recycle it to make fish habitats, there are like little cubes, and you drop it in the water, and it promotes plant growth, and the it encourages healthy fish populations,” Combs said.

Ocean State Tackle is one of several stores where you can drop off your fishing recyclables. You might also be able to recycle right at your fishing location – because pipe-shaped containers for recycling are placed at various lakes and points in the Blackstone Corridor.