A Tangle of Trouble

When I stroll the trails of Peninsula State Park this time of year, my neck is usually craned back and my eyes are to the sky. It’s bird migration season. Warblers and other spring migrants are flying through the park, creating a chattering chorus through the treetops and along the park’s eight-mile shoreline.

Photo submitted by Kathleen Harris.

Imagine my surprise to hear frantic fluttering in the shrubs along Weborg Point. I cautiously approached the commotion and found a bird struggling to fly. It took me a moment to realize its tiny legs had become tangled in fishing line.

The thin, nearly transparent qualities of fishing line make it easy to lose hold of – but don’t! Please deposit waste fishing line in the trash. Otherwise, it can harm wildlife.

Luckily, on this day, Peninsula maintenance staff Garrett Cunningham was able to help me untangle the bird, which happened to be a White-Crowned Sparrow. Birder Sue Peterson was nearby, too, with a pair of pink scissors to help cut the line. The bird flew off happily, but uttered a squeak of indignation on its way.

Please remember to discard waste fishing line in the trash during Wisconsin’s annual Free Fishing Weekend, June 7 & 8. The public is invited to cast a line without a license or trout stamp. Free Fishing Weekend applies to all inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. Peninsula’s Nature Center loans fishing poles (purchase your own bait at local vendors). Click here for complete information.

Also, the weekend of June 7 & 8 is Peninsula State Park’s open house. A park vehicle sticker is not required these days. For more information call 920.854.5976.