Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fishing At Mountain Park Aquatic Center

On all my blogs and web sites I try to publish positive and helpful information. I host the Gwinnett County GAGenWeb, and hope that I am contributing to historic preservation and free genealogy research for Gwinnett County, Georgia.  I've been an active REALTOR(R) in Gwinnett since 1986.  My Mama taught me that one person can make a difference in a community. She never said, "Well, it's just the way it is."

My favorite walking trail in my area is at the Mountain Park Aquatic Center.  Certainly, it's not the prettiest park in Gwinnett, but I love nature.  I enjoy watching the geese and ducks, the Green Heron, the Robins, Bluebirds, and Eastern Song Sparrows.  I see the same little brown bunny every day, along with butterflies, bull frogs, and so many other creatures.

Over the years, I've seen some tragic sights I would like to forget (but can't), and they were caused by fisherman fishing from the bank in shallow water.  This is a small, shallow pond, and when they put their lines in right where the waterfowls are feeding, it's a tragedy waiting to happen.  Below is the young gosling that I've been trying to rescue for several days.  It has swallowed a hook, and the fishing line runs from its gullet to wrap all around its body.
It has good parents who wait for it to walk slowly, swim slowly, and feed slowly.  I've been trying to befriend the parents to get close enough to at least snip the line below the chin, hoping to free its wings and lower body from the line.  When I was there this morning, a fisherman appeared, and explained his position. "I was here when that happened.  It happens all the time. It was an accident.  I use bread as bait, and the ducks and geese like bread."    After we agreed to be at odds on this subject, his final response was to plunk his chair down on the beach and put his line into the water right where the ducks and geese were feeding.  I would like to say to him (and others), that if they put bait on a hook in shallow water where the birds are feeding, and they just happen to snag a duck or goose, it's no more of an accident than getting pregnant if you're not using birth control.  As he said, "It happens ALL THE TIME."
 The picture above was taken when the three goslings were newly hatched. So sweet and innocent!

Below is the result of a typical fifteen minutes of gathering of trash off the beach.  I've gathered yards and yards and yards of fishing line that has washed ashore, along with a few hooks, broken glass, etc. This is where parents let their children play, not to mention where the waterfowl feed.
 ANYWAY...I've written a letter to every Gwinnett County commissioner and the "Powers that Be" in Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, asking that they seriously consider prohibiting fishing at this very small pond.  It's too small a space for fishing not to have a negative impact on wildlife. To their credit, I have gotten  responses from the county commission and Parks and Rec.  I hope for a short term rescue of this sweet baby, as well as a long term resolution to prevent this from happening over and over.

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