Ted J Morgan
Environmental Studies 100
April 12th, 2014
Part 3- The Change
During the past week not only I, but all of my friends who I have “gone fishing” with have made steps towards making the Bushkill Creek and Delaware River shores cle
aner. I have made the consistent effort to bring a trash bag with me each time I have traveled down to the creek. You really have no idea what you will find in and around creeks that are heavily fished by locals. During this week I found the average beer can or loose fishing line to large pieces of scrap metal ( I even saw a bike, but it was to far off the bank to drag in!). I have also stopped bringing down food, so I have no change of leaving my own trash behind. I have also noticed, that since opening day two weekends ago, we have not been catching as many trout. This brings into play Hardins Tragedy of the Commons, because I fear that overfishing may be a problem on the Bushkill. Fisherman who use live bait are usually the people responsible for not following my own guidelines of always catching and releasing. Even though these fisherman have every right to catch and keep, it really depletes the amount of fish in the creek, especially wild trout, which can be identified by red rings around their spots. During our trips, we have found many fish heads lying on the shore, which is a sad sight to say the least. The hardest thing this week about changing my behavior, was to remind myself and my fellow fisherman to always collect their extra line and trash. The most positive experience for me, was when my friend Jake and I were fishing along the creek and down the creek 50 yards a man asked why I was cleaning up around the creek. I told him about my sustainability project, and he was extremely impressed with my effort and Lafayette’s initiative to help protect the local waterways. The impact of my behavior change has been small so far, because it is pretty much impossible to keep the creek and its banks completely clean, but it is possible to pickup 10-20 items of trash each time I go fishing, which is a large amount since the weather has gotten so beautiful! Below I have attached a link to the Non-Profit website of Save Our Shores, which helps organize and draw attention to preserving shores and bodies of water in the United States. I believe that if we were to organize one for Bushkill Creek, it would have great results, but only if after the cleanup, people continue to be sustainable and not just re-pile trash.