You probably recycle aluminum cans, plastic jugs and bottles, newspapers, scrap metal. But do you recycle used fishing line?
A lot of folks do, and Berkley began its recycling program way back in 1990. To date, Berkley's collected millions of miles of monofilament. What's especially cool is that now, that used fishing line is actually going back into the water.
"The Berkley Fish Hab is an artificial, underwater habitat structure made of used and recycled monofilament fishing line and other post-consumer materials like milk cartons and soft-drink bottles," said Pure Fishing recycle coordinator Karen Anfinson. "The Fish Hab attracts fish and plant growth almost immediately. It's the perfect solution for rejuvenating older reservoirs, ponds and streams devoid of the natural cover essential to the growth and development of a healthy fish population.
"The Fish Hab is available to everyone — clubs, pond owners, anglers, communities or anyone interested in improving the aquatic habitat," Anfinson added. "The Fish Hab is free with 75 UPC codes from Berkley lines. Simply cut the UPC codes from line spools and collect them for personal or local aquatic rejuvenation projects."
Field research and development of the Fish Hab began in 1993. With the help of fisheries management and recycling professionals, the first prototypes were designed and tested in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Today, fish are still found near these initial structures.
Berkley worked with members of the American Fisheries Society and staff from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish & Wildlife service to determine the optimum color and design of the Fish Hab, which can today be found in lakes across the United States.
"If left in the environment, discarded fishing line can be a potential hazard to wildlife," Anfinson noted. "Berkley has turned it into a real benefit for fish – and fishing. The used line you drop at your local tackle dealer is recycled and turned into a Fish Hab – a non-degradable structure that's completely safe in the aquatic environment."
The 4-foot-cube Fish Hab structure is designed to be easily assembled in minutes at the placement site. The Hab weighs around 30 pounds. Fish Habs can be attached to each other to make various shapes and complement different structures and needs. The complete assembly is lightweight and easy to anchor underwater.
To order a Fish Hab, mail 75 FireLine and/or Trilene UPC codes, or $75 (includes shipping) to: Berkley Fish Hab, Berkley Environmental Projects, 1900 18th St., Spirit Lake, IA 51360-1099.