Chapman River visitors urged to clean up mess after bird tangled in fishing line dies

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
A lone kayaker paused to watch a flock of cormorants near the mouth of the Chapman River on Sunday September 13 2020. She stopped paddling frequently to observe the many species of birds along the river's left bank.
Camera IconA lone kayaker paused to watch a flock of cormorants near the mouth of the Chapman River on Sunday September 13 2020. She stopped paddling frequently to observe the many species of birds along the river's left bank. Credit: Geoff Vivian The Geraldton Guardian

Volunteers dedicated to preserving Geraldton’s flora and fauna are urging people to dispose of their fishing equipment thoughtfully after a bird was found in a tangled mass of hooks and line.

Every week, the Chapman River Friends group scours the Chapman River Estuary for potential hazards to wildlife and visitors.

Group co-ordinator Virginie Fuhrnamm recently took a little black cormorant to the vet after it was found caught in fishing line, but the bird could not be saved.

This is the second cormorant known to have died after becoming tangled this year, with Ms Fuhrnamm saying it did not take much to prevent these deaths.

“The issue is some people fish and they stick their fishing lines in the trees and the branches, and they don’t clean the place when they leave the site,” she said.

“It is not a big thing to make sure when you fish you clean up your lines. I am sure it is a great hobby, but if you need to fish, make sure you don’t threaten the wildlife there.” Ms Fuhrnamm said the estuary was home to at least 30 species of birds and Chapman River Friends was passionate about introducing locals to the regional park.

“We are working closely with the City of Greater Geraldton to develop an awareness of the Chapman River Regional Park because we think it is just a jewel right in our city,” she said.

“We have planting days, clean-ups and we promote the park with free guided bushwalks every weekend from July-September.”

The little black cormorant which died after getting caught in fishing line at Chapman River Regional Park.
Camera IconThe little black cormorant which died after getting caught in fishing line at Chapman River Regional Park. Credit: Supplied

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