Colorado is filled with reservoirs, rivers, ponds and lakes that make for fantastic fishing opportunities – but part of going to throw out a line also means being responsible and picking up your fishing litter instead of leaving it behind.

Many local parks and natural areas have containers right near the water source where anglers can recycle used lines, bobbers and hooks. However, a lot of people don't take advantage of these stations, which can result in fishing litter negatively impacting nature and the surrounding wildlife.

On May 22, a rehabber and two rescuers with the Northern Colorado Wildlife Center helped to save a Canadian Goose at Fort Collins' City Park, who was the victim of left-behind fishing litter. After catching the goose, they ultimately pulled 7 fishing hooks from its feet. The goose was then transported to an out-of-county wildlife rehab clinic, since the NCWC doesn't yet have a facility that's capable of caring for waterfowl.

Photo: Northern Colorado Wildlife Center

Anglers picking up after themselves not only preserves the fishing resources in Colorado, but also saves animals' lives.