Naturalist Aaron Askelson guides a pelican to shore so a fishing lure stuck in both of its feet can be removed. (Photos Courtesy of the Benton County Conservation Dept.)

A very unique photo op at Rodgers Park is also a reminder to be aware of the impact of left-behind fishing tackle, says the Benton County Conservation Department.

On Monday, fisherman alerted one of the BCCB seasonal employees, Mike Hagen, that a pelican seemed to be having some trouble in the lake. After repeated attempts by Naturalists Caitlin Savage and Aaron Askelson to grab the bird were unsuccessful, Aaron went into the water after the bird. Aaron was able to recover the pelican and bring it to shore. The lure pictured was removed from the bird’s feet. It had one hook in each foot, which made it impossible for the bird to take flight or swim effectively.

This is a great reminder that lures and fishing line can be a severe hazard to wildlife, say conservation officials.

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