Please Protect the Pelicans


In an effort to reduce the number of injuries to Brown Pelicans, Mind Your Line is asking anglers to use “smart practices” when fishing.

Mind Your Line is a collaborative effort among Sanibel-Captiva conservation organizations, seeking to prevent unfortunate accidents to the pelicans which are protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty and included in the state’s Imperiled Species Management Plan.

The Punta Rassa boat ramp is of specific concern as young pelicans will hang out waiting for a tasty treat to be thrown out as charter and private boats clean their catch. Unfortunately, these birds often ingest hooks, monofilament line, or small bones which can have lethal consequences.

It’s important to note that it is illegal to feed wildlife however even with signage it still occurs and CROW staff recently witnessed many with embedded hooks and pouch injuries.

Tips for Responsible Fishing
· Do not feed fish scraps to the pelicans or discard carcasses in the water.
· If caught on a line, reel the bird in slowly to prevent further injury. Place a net under the pelican as soon as you are able to reduce stress and commotion, which can cause more injury.
· Remove the hook by cutting the barb and pushing it backwards to remove.
· Release the pelican if it is healthy. If it is not, call CROW (239) 472-3644.

Please visit the Mind Your Line website at for information about proper ways to discard monofilament and fishing gear and how to unhook a bird. If you have questions, please email



  1. Two years ago I saw Sea Trek at Hurricane Pass, dump out a huge bin of leftover bait to the pelicans at their dock. I wonder if they still do that?

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