I stepped outside the Open Circle artwork in the northeast corner of the park to take some photos, and as I returned, I felt my feet snagged in something. The something turned out to be fishing line, very thin, very tough, and many yards of it. I had seen fishermen casting there a few days earlier, and found a half-full spool of the same fishing line left there on a rock.
I don’t have a problem with people fishing in the park. In fact, after the Berkeley Municipal Pier closed in 2015, leaving the fisherpeople stranded, I published an appeal here on the blog for the city to waive the fishing license requirement in Cesar Chavez Park. But abandoning line (and hooks, lures, and other tackle) in your fishing spot is way uncool. I am big enough to untangle myself if I get snagged in it, but most of the other residents of the park are not. Google has a whole collection of images of birds snagged, injured, and killed by fishing line and other tackle. Thoughtless fisherpeople like the ones who left this dangerous garbage behind give all fisherpeople a bad name.