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Are we anglers really responsible for it?

Just about any kind of people who visits there may litter and we anglers are no exception. It is not surprising that majority of the litter bugs in the catchment area are anglers due to the nature of angling activity itself. The photos below are taken at a remote part of the central catchment area. It is evidently shown that fishing activities are prevalent in these areas.

The four sticks at the bank didn't grow out from the ground, they were planted there by anglers for resting their rods. Rod rest also suggest the use of live baits. The right picture below shows fishing lines tied to branches.
Rod rests handline

Basket and styrofoam boxed that can be used to keep live baits as well as the fishes caught
Basket Styrofoam box


We typically spend more time in there than anyone else, so naturally we need to bring more stuff like food and drinks, not to mention our fishing gears. Food and drinks carriers are typical source of trash. Some will lit a cigarette or take a sip of beer while waiting for the fish to bite, and guess where the cigarette butts and beer cans will go? What about that ball of fishing lines you 'weaved' from your baitcaster or discarded handlines? There isn't any litter bin within miles and stuffing back into your bag gets it dirty, not to mention attracting lots of ants with it. Imagine we have to carry something completely useless to us for the rest of the trip back!

Hey, I got a lazier idea, just dump it there and we're done! Let's move on to the next spot already. We very well know that this is wrong but we do it anyway. Without the lawful eye watching, we can easily get away with it. No sweat. -shifty eyes-

Discarded fishing lines; a whole lot of them
Fishing lines More fishing lines

The picture below shows a popper left by an unknown angler, perhaps he dropped it? The next picture shows some rusty sabiki hooks left dangling on the branches, people or animals caught in these hooks can get seriously injured.
Popper Rusty Sabiki hooks


If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

Of course, this is just a rhetorical question. However, if we have to ask ourselves a similar question when deciding to litter or not, it only goes to show we have the intention to litter. It's probably futile to simply tell people to stop littering. So instead, let's list down some advantages of not littering and how we can reduce waste. You decide the rest.

Not littering helps:

  • Maintain a pleasant environment for you to come back to

    We're bound to be back for more fishing in such a place. The place is scenic, relaxing and there's lots of fish for us to enjoy. So why throw it away? Lets keep the place clean so that we can enjoy it as much as we first did.
  • By not creating more breeding grounds for mosquitoes

    Trash like plastic bags and cans are excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. They accumulate water from rain and morning dews. The stagnant and isolated water puddles not only provide good breeding conditions but also shield them from their natural predators.
  • Conceal your fishing spot

    If trash were to accumulate at the place where you fish, it will become a tell-tale sign that someone has been fishing at that particular spot, probably a good spot too! Trash gets other people's attention too. National park board, PUB and that ranger who's always patrolling the area will know where to wait to ambush the unsuspecting angler.
  • Not giving anglers a bad name

    Image people, it's all about image! Just kidding. But seriously, if we just keep littering, we are only discouraging authorities from opening up more areas in reservoirs for the public to fish. Surely we won't want people to point fingers at us when a trash issue is being raised.


How to reduce waste:

  • Don't bring uneccessary plastic bags with you into the catchment area

    That's an immediate trash reduction right there, we can't throw what we didn't bring. Consolidate your items into one or few plastic bags if you must use them. If we could use our backpack as a carrier for all our items, by all means do so.
  • Use tuppleware for food, flask/water bottles for drinks

    If you have to bring food and drinks into the catchment area, you can consider using tuppleware to store your food and water bottles or flask to store you drinks. They are better at keeping your food and drinks cool/warm. They are also much sturdier containers unlike disposible food and drinks carriers which are susceptible tearing and leaking. Better yet, have your meals first before you go for your fishing trip, that way you have less to carry too.
  • Consolidate all trash in a single durable plastic bag

    If we know we're going to generate some trash on the trip, we should be prepare to clear it up and bring it back. It's good to use tough plastics bags that to consolidate all the trash because you maybe disposing sharp objects like hooks that may tear the trashbag. No one wants to carry a trashbag that has left over drinks and food leaking out of it right?

Other concerns

If we're going to spend some time in the forest, we probably will need to relieve ourselves from time to time. There's no toilet around and it's not too healthy hold it in. Although it is against park rules, I'd personally think there isn't much of a practical choice. However, if we really have to pee in the catchment area, do it in a bush far away from the water sources so as not to pollute our drinking water. A little urine is actually good for plants but don't pee at the same spot too often, too much of urine will eventually kill the plants. (this is also why dog urine are said to kill plants)

Aftermath of a bush fire in the catchment area
Burnt Bush Camp Fire

There are alot of smokers among us, surely you can't resist a puff every now and then especially when the fish aren't biting and the insects are bugging you. Firstly, it's a good practice not to smoke in the forest because lited cigarette is a fire hazard. In hotter months of the year, leaves and wood can be very dry and catch fire easily. If you have to smoke, please ensure that the cigarette is extingushed properly and dump into your trash bag. A little thoughtfulness can save our source of oxygen and shelter from burning down. Also do not start campfires for any reasons, they're an even greater fire hazard than cigarettes. It will only attract attention to patrolling aircrafts and rangers. We don't want to get into any trouble right?



If didn't read all the above just remember that if you must do fishing in a remote area, please maintain the well-being of the place for the benefit of the environment, you and everyone else. Hopefully, such discipline can be cultivated from our respect for our environment and upheld wherever we fish.


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Created: 30 March, 2006 :: Updated: 14 February, 2007