A Day at the Beach
From fishing and swimming to boating and birding, Northeast Ohioans enjoy spending time on the water. And we’re not alone - Lake Erie tourism in Ohio generates nearly $13 billion in revenue annually. But a day at the beach and the nearshore habitat that fish, birds and other wildlife depend on can be easily ruined by ignorance and carelessness.
Do your part to care for Lake Erie and our local waterways by following these Guidelines for Responsible Recreation:
- Collect all used fishing line and recycle it - look for a container like the one pictured to the right. At the very least, collect your used line and any other line you may encounter and dispose of it in a trash can.
- Use only lead-free sinkers and other fishing products.
- Don’t release live bait into the water or at the shore - they may be nuisance species or even invasive.
- Follow local catch-and-release and bag limit regulations to ensure a sustainable fishery.
- Keep your engine clean and in proper working order to minimize oil and gas leaks.
- Clean with a sponge and plain water whenever possible. When you must use soap, use as little as possible and make sure it is non-toxic, biodegradable and phosphate-free.
- Prevent the spread of invasive species by practicing the Clean, Drain, Dry method on all equipment.
- Take the Ohio Sea Grant Clean Boater Pledge at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/cleanboating.
- Pack your trash out or make sure it gets in a trash can. Litter left carelessly on the beach ensnares wildlife and adds to the growing plastic pollution problem in Lake Erie. Plastic six-pack rings, fishing line and balloons are especially dangerous for wildlife.
Don’t dispose of cigarette butts or cigar tips on the ground - they are toxic to wildlife, which often mistakes them for food.
I'm the Euclid Creek Watershed Program Manager working out of Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District office.