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I had an opportunity to get my fishing pole out on Easter Sunday and hit Stegge Lake to see if I could irritate a few crappie – well, I didn’t irritate too many fish, but I myself was irritated by the time I left the lake.
It was one of those moments where I shook my head and heard the thought, “people are pigs,” echo through my brain.
As I walked to the end of one of the piers that reach out into Stegge, I had to walk around a pile of dead perch, “bait fish,” some cut in half for use on a catfish hook, others still whole and left to die on the ground. Mixed in the batch of bait fish were several empty cans of Dr. Pepper.
Earlier, I’d been taking several pictures of a goose family that was feeding on the same pier – how hard would it have been to put the garbage in one of the many trash receptacles that sit in the area? If you don’t need that many fish to bait your hook, let the fish go to live another day.
It’s astounding to me how inconsiderate some people can be. Stegge Lake is an attraction for the entire city of Pleasanton and farther, including Linn County. It is not a personal dumping ground for someone who does not respect himself or herself, or the surroundings.
The sad part of this commentary is that I’d bet every lake in the county has some form of the mini-dump to which Stegge Lake was subjected.
Many civic groups, school groups and individuals take a lot of personal time out of their lives to volunteer to keep our public recreational spots clean so all can enjoy them. For instance, April 26 is the Pleasanton Junior/Senior High community cleanup day. Stegge Lake will be one of the targeted areas for students in seventh through 12th grades to clean up.
It’s a shame that there is such a need in our world – to throw your trash away and take some pride in your surroundings. I’d imagine that the culprit leaving the trash and killing fish with no mercy probably lives in surroundings where he or she is comfortable leaving a mess elsewhere. Respect for our Mother Earth and community is a learned process; if grandpa throws trash out of his window, most likely junior will follow suit.
Learning to be respectful of our outdoors sounds like something our schools could begin broaching to students, like the other umpteen things they have to teach because parents don’t do the job they should be doing at home.
Maybe I’m a trash Nazi, but I feel that normal citizens should have a way of forwarding information concerning those who leave a mess for others to the authorities, and tickets can be issued. Maybe hitting their pocket book might change their messy behavior.
As taxpayers, all of us in Linn County pay our fair share to keep our lakes and parks up to snuff. Apparently that doesn’t mean anything to those who leave a mess for others to pick up.
I think we’re all responsible to keep our environment clean. We need to be proactive in that stance and possibly that might rub off onto those who are the “piggies” of the group.
Jackie Taylor
Linn County News publisher


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