THIS STORY DESCRIBES THE DANGER THAT FISHING LINES AND HOOKS CAUSE TO WATERFOWL
Good Samaritans save tangled pelican
Bird stays still as its feet freed from hooks, line
Sat Jul 7 2007
By Aldo Santin
Ryan Garriock holds the bill as brother Wade and their dad Dave work to free hobbled pelican at Bear Point.
THERE'S a pelican at Lake of the Woods that owes its life to the Garriock family.
Gail and Dave Garriock, formerly of Charleswood, spent a tense 50 minutes with their family last weekend rescuing a pelican they found flopping in the water at Bear Point, barbed hooks through both feet and fishing line wrapped around them.
"The whole time we held onto it and working to remove the hooks, the pelican didn't move once," said Gail Garriock. "It was like it knew we were trying to help him."
Garriock said the drama began last Saturday at her cottage at Pine Portage Bay, just east of Kenora. Her sons, Ryan and Wade, and their wives and children had come to visit. The family decided to take their party barge out for a barbecue and settled down at Bear Point.
"We could hear this rattling sound from the water, and when we looked around, we saw this pelican that was just flopping in the water," Garriock said. "Its feet were tied up. So we decided to save it."
It took Dave Garriock about 30 minutes to manoeuvre the barge close enough to the pelican for their son Ryan to get hold of it.
Gail Garriock said they couldn't believe it when they saw the pelican's feet -- each one with a barbed hook through it and a fishing line and lure wrapped around them.
She said they believe one of the pelican's feet must have got hooked and the bird hooked the other one when it tried to kick the first hook out, with the line wrapping around its feet as it futilely struggled to free itself.
Garriock said her husband and son Wade held onto the pelican as Ryan used wire cutters and other tools to remove the hooks.
"It took us about 20 minutes and when the hooks were out, we put the pelican back into the water," she said. "It swam around a bit and then flew away.
"A few minutes later, a whole flock of pelicans came out from the trees and flew down low, right over us. It was like they were saying 'thank you.' It was a wonderful feeling."
© 2007 Winnipeg Free Press. All Rights Reserved.
NOTE FROM LOVE CANADA GEESE: If you're at a pond or lake where fishing is permitted, please patrol the shore and remove fishing lines, hooks, and lures. Your actions will help save a life! If you're permitted to do so, you should also post notices informing the general public about the dangers posed by discarded fishing hooks and lines to waterfowl.
- WATER FOUL: DISCARDED FISHING LINE DANGEROUS By Mary Lou Simms CLICK HERE for the article.
- Pick up Fishing Line and Hooks - even if they're not yours By Mary Lou Simms