The Causeway Lake fishing tackle reduction project is located on Darumbal Country At Causeway Lake situated between Mulambin Beach and Kinka Beach.
Causeway Lake is a popular family friendly area used for water-based recreation activities including fishing. Locals say that the best fishing occurs during the ‘run-through’ when the high tide replenishes the lake.
The fishing tackle reduction campaign stemmed from two different areas of community.
The first was when a report was made by Owen Harris (a five-year-old community member) in late 2020 when he and his family discovered an injured turtle at Causeway Lake. The turtle later named Barney, had become entangled in fishing line around its flipper. Barney was transported to the Quoin Island Turtle hospital. Damage to Barneys flipper was so severe that it needed to be amputated. Luckily Barney was later deemed healthy enough to be released back into Keppel Bay.
The second driving force behind the project came from a time that we partnered with a local wildlife rescue group and the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland who shared information about increasing numbers of local birdlife that were becoming entangled or ingesting fishing tackle related marine debris coming into their care. Causeway Lake is adjacent to the Birdlife Capricornia shorebird roosting site, a site that is surveyed regularly to monitor the internationally significant shorebirds that migrate to the area.
Hearing the concerns from both areas of the public an investigation was made about just how much marine debris was at risk of being lost to the sea from the Causeway Lake fishing hotspots and surrounds.
From here Capricornia Catchments partnered with local artists Martin Schlick, Rebecca Johnston and BirdLife Capricornia to help deliver an educational mural at the Causeway Lake. The artwork highlights the important, rare, and sensitive wildlife that relies on the area and the impact litter and in particular fishing tackle litter is having on wildlife.
In conjunction with the artwork, several clean ups in the area are being undertaken to collect data and monitoring the effectiveness of the mural on users litter behaviour.
This project would not have been made possible without the ongoing support from Livingstone Shire Council, the Regional Artist Development Fund, Tangaroa Blue and ReefClean.