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3 Roving Reporter | "Aquarium Volunteers Ed Hegen and Phil Wildfang Rescue Heron"

"A beautiful great blue heron has fallen prey to man's carelessness. Aquarium volunteers Ed Hegen and Phil Wildfang rescued the bird and removed yards of monofilament line from its legs. Blood circulation had been restricted and one leg appeared useless. Phil transported this seriously injured bird to the ARK in Port Aransas for rehab.
Please dispose of your fishing line properly to help protect our wildlife."

Image Courtesy of the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor.



Thank you so much for helping this poor animal. Perhaps the Navigation District could look into providing stations for proper line disposal as they do at the Aransas County Wildlife Refuge. When refuse containers aren't provided, this is what typically happens--people just toss it back into the water. At the very least they should have signs out warning people. Come on Nav Dist, step up to the plate!


The Navigation District stepped up to the plate a decade ago. Sixteen clearly marked recycling stations can be found in prominent locations on Nav District property wherever fishing line might show up. In 2004 my wife Katherine and I, as members of Texas Master Naturalists, proposed a monofilament recycling program to the ACND board- they approved it immediately. We built and installed the containers, and the various board members and Nav District staff have strongly supported the project ever since. In fact, one of the three containers on Rockport Harbor is just a few feet from where Ed and Phil are shown saving this poor bird. Each month we emptied the containers, cut off hooks, removed debris, weighed the line, and shipped it to a facility that manufactures tackle boxes and other fishing equipment. At some point we partnered with the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (MA-NEER ) at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. The project is still going strong, under the able leadership of Kiersten Madden, a marine scientist with MA-NEER.


For Anonymous who is not aware of the fishing line recycling receptacles, first ask the question, "Is there a program to prevent this? or How can I help?". Complaints are easy for the uninformed. The ACND has been instrumental in bird and turtle rescues. They have even informed a team to help these animals when they are in crisis. There is always room for more volunteers.

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