Safeguarding Local Waterways and Wildlife

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Sault Ste. Marie’s renowned fishing scene, particularly along the St. Mary’s River, attracts flyfishers, spincasters and tourists year-round. Fishing in the St. Mary’s River is a world-class experience, so preserving and protecting the natural wildlife habitat in this area is essential. To ensure the safety and preservation of this area, a new initiative called ‘Clear Your Gear’ aims to prevent improperly disposed fishing lines from harming the local waterways and wildlife. 
‘Clear your Gear’ fishing line receptacles have been placed in popular spots around Sault Ste. Marie Canal and Whitefish Island. Anglers can deposit waste fishing lines into marked receptacles where Parks Canada volunteers and staff remove hooks, leaders, weights, and trash before sending them to Clear your Gear for recycling. This approach keeps fishing lines out of waterways and landfill sites and promotes sustainable tourism keeping wildlife and residents safe from the hazards of discarded fishing lines.  
The St. Mary’s River is a top destination for anglers worldwide, attracting hundreds of visitors each year who seek a world class fishing experience. "As a fishing guide who deeply cares about our waters, I'm happy to support this new initiative. By installing these fishing line receptacles, we can work together to reduce waste and protect our fish populations. This project ensures that everyone can enjoy fishing responsibly, preserving our beautiful destination for future generations” stated Tyler Dunn, a local fishing guide who provides services in the St. Mary’s Rapids. 
“The Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site team are excited to support the Clear your Gear Project” said Carly Wetzl, National Historic Sites Manager, Parks Canada. “Installing these receptacles will encourage anglers to properly dispose of fishing line, protecting our environment and the wildlife that lives here.” 
“We are happy to support the Clear your Gear initiative on Whitefish Island and enhance the protection of our shorelines, waterways and wildlife in and around the area.” said Juliana Lesage-Corbiere, Fish and Wildlife Supervisor with Batchewana First Nation Natural Resources.
Funding for the ‘Clear your Gear’ program is provided by the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Green Initiatives Fund. Project partners include Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, Parks Canada National Historic site, and Batchewana First Nation. For more information about Clear Your Gear, please visit Tourism Sault Ste. Marie's website at
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