Our Responsibility to the Resource
We are blessed with amazing outdoor resources in the Great Lakes region – and throughout the entire United States. These resources provide us with endless amount of entertainment, joy, and a life time of memories through our experiences with them. These watersheds breathe life into each of our individual souls and provide us with an opportunity to travel back in time to days gone by. As well, the rivers, creeks, and lakes all give life to entire ecosystems, providing essential habitat, nourishment, and other life essentials to all of nature.
A disturbing trend that seems to become more prevalent each year is the misuse, disrespect, and intentional harm that is done to these resources by those that enjoy them the most. I typically hold fly fisherman in high regard in the sense of being care takers and protectors of the water – although I do know of and have witnessed examples of individuals toting fly gear being chief offenders in causing harm. Whether or not you already do what you can to ensure that our waterways remain pristine – there is always something more that we can do to help.
I know there is more that I can do to help protect our water resources as well. So here’s my plan for the year, and I would appreciate your help by having a plan of your own – or giving me suggestions of what more I can personally do.
- No more silent disagreement. If I see someone doing something that is harmful – offer gentle encouragement to discontinue the activity.
- Get involved in watershed counsels. These are great ways to learn about the watersheds and how they are impacted by a number of factors – both man made and environmentally.
- Pack more out than I pack in. Make an effort to seek out trash and fishing related remnants (fishing line, hooks, etc.) and collect it to properly dispose of it. Yes, everyone should be responsible enough to take care of themselves – but we all know that is not the case.
- Be more conscientious about what I use to transport my food. Last year I posted what I felt was a relatively harmless photo of myself and a few others enjoying a meal on the riverbank – however, someone pointed out that there was an awful lot of plastic products in the picture. He was right – I should be more mindful of how small everyday decisions like choosing plastic bags over taking my own to a grocery store impact the environment around me.
- Participate in River Clean ups – I say I’m going to do it every year, and I never do.
- Make good use of my time – I walk my dog along the river frequently in my non-fishing time. It makes sense to collect trash and other debris while I do this instead of just walking along.
I believe that we are at or nearing a critical moment in regards to protecting our resources. If we don’t take enough action they may not be around for us or future generations to enjoy.