Recreational fishing puts an unnecessary strain on the environment. Hooking a fish causes it stress which increases unintended fish mortality. But I bet many people have not considered some of the other negative impacts on the environment.
Each year over 12,000 tons of plastic fishing lure waste end up in our waterways. Many of these soft plastic lures are made from PVC based plastic which is harmful to the environment. This happens a variety of ways. A common cause is a spent lure dropped in the water during catch and release. Plastic baits and lines are also broken during the fight, especially with toothy fish. Monofilament fishing line is hard to handle in the field. Tangled lines are unfortunately oftentimes disposed of on site, in the water.
Cut down on this plastic waste by KindFishing. KindFishing minimizes the physical stress on the plastic lure. Of course, this also means less physical stress on the fish, too. KindFishing with a fly rod and flies, including Tenkara rigs, is also a great option.
Another way to cut down on this waste -- whether you are KindFishing or hook fishing -- is to adopt a PIO rule when fishing. That is, Pack It Out. Stuff old lines and lures in your pockets. Bring a small paper bag to hold it. Or if you are a gear-geek like I am, get something like a FishPond PIO Pod. I have one of these attached to my fishing bags and packs so I never have to think about having a place for my waste.
Please always Pack It Out.