By: Cindy Yeast, Board Member, Estes Valley Watershed Coalition

On Sat., October 15, the second annual fishing line and tackle cleanup, sponsored by the Wandering Wildlife Society of the Estes Valley Watershed Coalition, was held at Lake Estes. Twenty-two volunteers combed the lake’s shoreline retrieving fishing line and trash, and, due to the lowered level of the lake, they were also able to walk out into the lakebed and clean the areas near the shore.

The purpose of the cleanup is to prevent injury and death of waterfowl and other birds that become entangled in the line or swallow tackle and lead sinkers attached to the line. Cleaning up the lake area also makes it safer for humans and other animals.

A large amount of fishing line and tackle was collected. An estimated 200 pounds of trash was also collected. In addition to cans, bottles, plastic bags, and other plastic items, the trash included items such as oars, fishing poles, rope, a tarp, a seat cushion, and even a drone.

One stump had so much fishing line and tackle attached to it that one of the volunteers, Evan Jones, who is a fisherman, took home the bucket he filled from that one stump and inventoried it. In addition to fishing line and hooks, he had retrieved lures, bobbers, flies, and floats, among other tackle. He also had gathered 154 lead sinkers, weighing more than one pound. While lead sinkers are not regulated in Colorado, several states have done so due to the danger they present to waterfowl, eagles, and other birds that die from lead poisoning when they inadvertently swallow the weights while dabbling or diving for food.

For more information about the Estes Valley Watershed Coalition, please visit:

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