LineKeepers help fishermen keep waterways safe

Mary and Kevin Anderson installed and are monitoring a LineKeeper unit at Colby Pond in Plymouth
Mary and Kevin Anderson installed and are monitoring a LineKeeper unit at Colby Pond in Plymouth. Photo by Kelly Stettner

REGION – Fishing is a terrific activity that is fun for all ages and ability levels and can be done all year round. It’s almost inevitable that the line will get snagged, caught, or just plain snapped. If left in the water or on the shore, it poses a hazard for not just boat propellers but also for wildlife.

Just this past summer, a loon spotted in the Colby Pond and Lake Rescue area was entangled with fishing line around its neck and beak. It was apparently still able to swim and feed to some extent. Eric Hanson of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies monitored the bird throughout the summer and had high hopes for its ability to thrive despite the restraint.

Thanks to the Black River Action Team and several terrific volunteers, responsible anglers can now collect their waste fishing line and deposit it safely away from birds, fish, turtles, and other critters, as well as protecting boat propellers from becoming fouled.

BRAT’s LineKeeper units were built by Claremont, N.H. resident John Lambert. Three are now installed at several Vermont public fishing areas, including Herricks Cove in Rockingham, Hoyt’s Landing in Springfield, and Colby Pond in Plymouth.

The unit is checked periodically throughout the year. Any line collected is gathered by BRAT and will be shipped to Berkley, a manufacturer of fishing gear, for their recycling program. The monofilament line is melted down into plastic pellets, which can then be reformed into a range of products, including tackle boxes. It is not made into more fishing line. Learn more about their program at

Learn how you can help BRAT keep our waterways safe, clean, and healthy by contacting Director Kelly Stettner at or by leaving a voice message at 802-738-0456.

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