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Thoughts from the Barnyard: If you abuse it, you may lose it

While it was nice to make memories with my dad and son, the biggest memory I will have is the amount of trash being left behind by others.
The beauty of the Scott Reservoir is becoming overshadowed by the amount of trash left behind by those who visit the location.

Fishing season officially opened in the Southern Zone on May 25, and I had a 14-year-old son who was itching to get a line in the water. He called up Grandpa Don, asking if he was up for the adventure going to the Scott Reservoir. It does not take much twisting of Grandpa’s rubber arm when it comes to fishing, so the three of us headed out to the dam the following day.

When we eventually got there, I was in total shock and awe. I was in awe to see so many people there, especially kids. There were a few people out on some smaller boats while many were fishing from the shoreline. There was a family fishing near the boat launch, and they were catching fish like crazy. Everyone who was there knew it because the kids were always excited when another one was being reeled in.

We never had any luck that day. We ended up catching more ticks and sunburns than fish, but there was also something else we ended up getting that we did not expect – everyone’s garbage.

The amount of trash we saw was appalling, leaving us all in total shock. Cans, broken glass bottles, plastic food wrappers, you name it. One fisherman told us he found a mattress in the reservoir when he used an underwater camera. As someone who enjoys hunting and fishing, I have always been taught to leave the space the way you found it. We even found an unopened can of Pepsi and a receipt with the shopper’s name on it. Now, I am not going to be that person that calls someone out publicly, however if you feel that you are responsible for leaving the mess, you can always do better.

What is the most saddening part of seeing all the garbage laying there was how it was interfering with all the beautiful animals around us. I had a pair of red-winged blackbirds chatting back and forth, probably discussing how their nest of young’uns must be hungry for some worms. We encountered a couple of garter snakes, one which was slithering across the water, skimming over my fishing line laying on the top of the water. I never did see where he went because of the trash all over the bank.

Right now, volunteers with the Unity Wildlife Federation are looking after the fishing hole. My fear is if people don’t stop littering in the area, a fence will be put up around and no one will be allowed to fish in there. I have seen it done over the years at other fishing locations, the last thing I want to see is it happen here.

So, if you happen to be out in among nature and see a pile of trash, be kind and pick it up. It not only looks better overall, but it also eliminates the possibility of hurting animals. You don’t leave garbage laying around in your house, so why would you do it in theirs?