As many of you know I write a regular fishing column for the Fort Collins Coloradoan which gets published every Sunday in the Explorer Section. Depending on the content I occasionally get a response, something I always appreciate.
As the members of Centennial Bass and myself scoured the shoreline and areas exposed by the low water levels for trash in the Eltuck Coves of Horsetooth Reservoir a couple weekends ago, I was surprised at how little garbage we found. After several years of high water levels and all the boat traffic I'd seen in the coves I figured the shores would look a lot like the city dump. From reports I'd heard, I believe it did, but others beat us to the trash.
The following email is a reminder that there are people from all walks of life who care and step up to make things better, not just anglers and hunters. To each and every one of them, including many here at Fish Explorer, Thank You for working to make the world a better place.
I read your column and enjoy it, not because I am a fisherperson, but because I coordinate a flatwater kayaking group for women in Northern Colorado called the Flatwater Frogs. I like to read about various common water experiences, water levels, birds, etc.
I write today in response to your trash pickup column. You might say this is some "trash talk." I wanted to let you know that my friend from the FFrogs and I spent nearly 6 hours picking up trash in Eltuck Cove back on Labor Day weekend. Our group noticed that with the water level shrinking to record lows, there was LOTS of trash being exposed all around the Reservoir. We were disappointed and disgusted and decided to do something about this while the water was (hopefully) lower than it will be again. Lisa and I removed 30 bags of trash just from Eltuck Cove. We realized this "party cove" where people anchor thier boats was the worst, so that is where we focused our energy. Most of it was those glass beer bottles and beer cans you were thinking you would find. Certainly made me think twice about going barefoot around the shore. Just wanted to let you know this lest people who are piggish when enjoying our local gem do not feel they need to think twice about tossing their trash. I would like to give people credit for caring for Horsetooth, but to be honest I was disgusted by the trash we found. Other groups and individuals may have picked up even more in the other coves. I have started to carry bags in my truck since that day, and I pick up trash wherever I am. Even at the ramp. People watch and then they say, "Hey that's a good idea," and maybe they bring bags the next time, or maybe they will think twice about tossing their trash.
Our group has also witnessed a large bird hanging helpless upside down from a tall tree, caught up in fishing line mixed in with her nest materials. Horrifying! A clear example of why people shouldn't leave their fishing trash either. After paddling many different lakes and reservoirs I realize how lucky we are to have this beautiful recreational spot that also provides our drinking water. We must treat it and all living things that have come to depend on it with respect.
Thanks. Happy fishing."