When in the proximity of anglers, pelicans can be instinctively driven to go after hooked bait, as it’s cast or once it lands in the water. When these animals become hooked, anglers will too often cut their line, thinking that maybe it’s the best thing for the bird, since it’s able to fly away.
Out of sight, but unfortunately, out of mind, too. What often happens to these animals, after a cutaway release, and when they fly back to their communal roosting and nesting habitats, can be a slow and agonizing death. The good news is, that with just a little awareness and preparation, this is an easy thing to avoid.
In addition to our efforts with sharks, we also lend our time and experience as volunteers with various wildlife rescue centers in our southwest Florida community, specializing in the recovery, rehabilitation and reintroduction of injured and orphaned wildlife species, ranging from owls to alligators.
L-R: Brooks Paxton II, Kevin Barton and Linda Schrader at the Wildlife Center of Venice
The Wildlife Center of Venice is one of those operations. A couple years ago we produced a focused piece designed to address a problem they deal with on an annual basis, when the tourist season goes into full swing, and an increased number of recreational anglers descend upon our local fisheries.
The inevitable result is an escalation in the number of unfortunate interactions between humans and pelicans. Well, 'tis the season, and we want to, once again, get the word out about, not only the extent of the problem, but more importantly, how easy it is for our fellow anglers to do their part in reducing the impacts of collateral damage on the local pelican population.