Appeal to fishermen to clear up

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No Caption ABCDE EMN-140110-160529001
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Fishermen have been warned to clear up discarded tackle after a swan was spotted with fishing line hooked in its mouth.

Several readers, including Gwen Newbon and Marji Doggett, contacted the Mercury after seeing the swan on the River Welland by Stamford Meadows.

The RSPCA were quickly called and inspectors spent two days trying to find the bird, but with no luck.

Justin Stubbs, who covers the Stamford area, was out on the river in his kayak on Tuesday. He said: “We’ve not had a phone call since then so we are guessing it has dislodged itself.

“It appeared that the hook was a little bit embedded in the outside of the beak, which takes nothing to knock it off.”

Mr Stubbs said that on this occasion it didn’t seem too much damage had been done. But he called on anglers to clear up any broken line.

“Where possible, take your rubbish home,” he said. “We do accept that accidents happen with line getting caught in the branches. But it’s common sense, really.”

Justin said it was not just swans that were at risk. He added: “Line can get caught round swans’ legs and cut off the circulation. Then the swan would have to be put to sleep.

“We also on occasions have birds that next in the area, such as house martins or swifts, pick up the line and use it in their nests.

“You then end up with baby birds handing upside down from gutters when they try to take off. It’s absolutely lethal when not disposed of properly.”