It is, by design, supposed to be rugged and long lasting.

And it certainly is.

That’s what makes it so dangerous, in a sense. Monofilament fishing lasts a long, long, long time in the environment.

Unfortunately, animals – from birds to turtles and more – sometimes get caught in discarded line. And the results can be deadly.

An example comes from Missouri, where someone spotted a hawk ensnared in fishing line high up in a tree. Wildlife officials eventually got to the bird, but it was too weak to survive and was euthanized.

“This is a sad reminder that even a small strand of line, when used improperly, can cause a large impact on the health of the fish and wildlife in the area,” said Michael Allen, a Missouri Department of Conservation fisheries management biologist.

The only way to prevent that is to keep unwanted, discarded line out of the environment.

Fortunately, there are several good ways to do that.

In Missouri, for example, the state’s “Stream Team” will supply volunteers with collection bins that can be put lakeside for anglers to dispose of old line.

Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania runs a similar program in that state.

“The collection of line and the established recycling bins help to raise awareness of the threat that fishing line poses when improperly discarded. The project also fosters stewardship of our local environment and helps local bird and animal populations,” the Society said.

There’s also one line recycling program that anyone can participate in no matter where they live.

Berkley, the giant fishing products company – and a maker of monofilament line – has since 1990 offered a line recycling program through its Berkley Conservation Institute.

With the help of anglers everywhere, it has recycled more than 9 million miles worth of fishing line. That's enough line to fill two reels for every angler in America.

Anglers who want to participate can mail old line directly to the company at Berkley Recycling, 1900 18th Street, Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360.

A lot of local bait and tackle shops accept old line for recycling, too. It pays to ask around about those.

Of course, if nothing else, anglers can always take their old line home and throw it away.

Fishing is great fun, and the season to do it is fast approaching. This season, anglers just to be sure their trips to the water don’t have unintended consequences.

More from Everybody Adventures

See also: How to choose the right fishing line for your situation.