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Below is a link to an article about possible health impacts on fish from discarded cigarette butts. This is timely for me, since over the last month I've had my leg burned and my windshield wiper damaged by people tossing butts out of their car window. When I confronted one woman about it, she went into a tirade and then tossed out several more unused ciggies to prove her point (given the price of those things, I hope it was worth the expense).

I just do not understand why so many folks, who would not otherwise consider tossing their trash on the ground or in the water, think nothing of tossing a cigarette butt out the boat or car window. Is it because they think of it as biodegradable (if so, read the article)? Since I bike a lot, I can really see just how many of these things litter the roadway....we're probably talking about an average of a dozen or more per foot of shoulder, just based on what is easily visible and not yet washed into the stormwater system.

I recall several years ago at dawn on Lake Waterford talking with a guy as he remarked on the beauty of the unfolding scene….first light, mist on the water, great blue herons, trout….and then watching as he tossed his butt into the lake. This is obviously not the most serious problem our environment faces, but it is probably the easiest one to solve. Please, dispose of your butts responsibly.

OK, off the Friday a.m. soapbox.:soapbox: Here's the article:

http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/04/27/a-new-victim-of-second-hand-smoking-fish/?hpt=T2
 

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Wow. You are right about the casual discards of filters by those who wouldn't automatically leave the empty packaging along the roadside ditch or directly in the drink. Must be just another aspect of the habit, picked up by watching others, Goose70?
 

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Man I am with you.

Look around next time you are at a red light.. You will be amazed at all the butts. I honk the horn every time I see someone flick a but (or other trash) out the window of a vehicle. Most dont have a clue what I'm beeping about.

I like to say "You never see non-smokers flick butts, do you."

I was up Garret county camping/trout fishing with some guys a couple years ago. Beautifull pristine forest with small stream (with lots of little native brookies!) next to our site. One of the guys would flick his butts wherever. I went around picking them up. He also fouled the stream with garbage. I dont get it..Drives me nutz..
 

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Well all those smokers don't want nasty, dirty, stinky butts in their cars. (I love the ones who hold the cig out the crack in the window so their wife won't smell cig smoke in their BMWs).

Note many brushfires are started every year in our area by ignorant smokers (notice I didnt say "careless"?) throwing butts out the window.

When I see someone do it, I say "Hey, you dropped something!"

And it IS illegal to do that but rarely does it happen in front of a cop.
 

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Many years ago we had a neighbor who told a story about her mother (from New York City). The woman would open the car door and dump an ashtray full of butts onto a road or parking lot. When her daughter (my neighbor) challenged her about this, the woman replied that there are people whose job it is to clean up debris. If she did not dump her butts, they would be out of a job.

I don't know if it is true or not, but it does paint a picture of a misguided mind set. Hopefully now that at least two generations have gone through childhood with some general education on ecology and avoiding littering, the amount of littering has gone down.
 

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On a similar topic, I am amazed by the number of bottles, jars and jugs thrown along the roads with "yellow water" in them. Pretty gross practice. Two generations of education has not been enough for some.
 

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I love how the article states "A New Victim". People have smoked for over three hundred years, what are they talking about. The article also states there are definate flaws with this study. I am not for littering but come on man!! I work in the inner city, people litter, smoke and behave badly more than ever. I wish all my step son did was smoke cigarettes instead of shoot herion. Some peoples lives must be so smooth and great that this is all they have to worry about!!
Man! I love ignorant comments.

First, when you say "over 300 years", do you mean 301 years? 350 years maybe?

I know, 300 years, 2000 years, its all the same right?
http://www.tobacco.org/History/Tobacco_History.html

•c.1 BCE: Experts believe American inhabitants have begun finding ways to use tobacco, including smoking (in a number of variations), chewing and in probably hallucinogenic enemas (by the Peruvian Aguaruna aboriginals).
•c. 1 CE: Tobacco was "nearly everywhere" in the Americas. (American Heritage Book of Indians, p.41).
•470-630 CE: Between 470 and 630 A.D. the Mayas began to scatter, some moving as far as the Mississippi Valley. The Toltecs, who created the mighty Aztec Empire, borrowed the smoking custom from the Mayas who remained behind. Two castes of smokers emerged among them. Those in the Court of Montezuma, who mingled tobacco with the resin of other leaves and smoked pipes with great ceremony after their evening meal; and the lesser Indians, who rolled tobacco leaves together to form a crude cigar. The Mayas who settled in the Mississippi Valley spread their custom to the neighboring tribes. The latter adapted tobacco smoking to their own religion, believing that their god, the almighty Manitou, revealed himself in the rising smoke. And, as in Central America, a complex system of religious and political rites was developed around tobacco. (Imperial Tobacco Canada, Tobacco History)


So now that we have some facts as to timeline.....

Did the native americans smoke filtered cigarettes with chemical additives like today's cigs have? No, all the tar and natural chemicals went into their lungs and they died around age 30. Now we have these "filters" to catch a % of those chemicals and prevent it from entering lungs, which means butts in the water release said chemicals.

So I'm good worrying about the environment. If you have to worry about heroin, then I understand your priorities, but don't chastise us because we care.
 

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"I was up Garret county camping/trout fishing with some guys a couple years ago. Beautifull pristine forest with small stream (with lots of little native brookies!) next to our site. One of the guys would flick his butts wherever. I went around picking them up. He also fouled the stream with garbage. I dont get it..Drives me nutz.."

Speaking of going nutz...

Why, we had/have just such a setting right here at my place. Used to be able to sit on the back deck and watch/count trout in the gazebo pool... nice trout! I've always been respectfully explicit to tell my guests who smoke that it matters to me what they do with those butts, and that I consider the entire property to be one big garden space. Most expressed understanding, showed respect, and were compliant. Amazingly, some will still make casual discards. It's gott'a be pure unthinking habit.

Now I have profoundly bigger environmental issues to contend with: Wisp/Deep Creek Development Corp has an insatiable thirst for water, having built an artificial (and leaky) whitewater course at a birthplace of rivers (!), and a once-private (now they'll take anyone's money) golf course atop a mountain. Simultaneously having eliminated some of their original water storage capacity will do that I guess. These 'development amenities' were not prompted by explosive growth in demand (the existing whitewater rivers and golf courses were hardly ever crowded even in good economic times), but for the 'value-added' premium prices that could once be commanded for tiny golf-in/golf-out, ski-in/ski-out, and whitewater-paddle-on-daily-schedule, but otherwise just more woodsy, postage-stamp sized lots.

We have all had enough rain of late. But, when it gets dry (as it increasingly does, even here)and Deep Creek Lake reaches its lower rule band level, Wisp cannot (legally) continue to tap the lake for so-called whitewater "refreshment" (the recirculating course understandably gets funky water quality), essentially watershed-less and too-well drained new golf course irrigation, etc. So they tap the groundwater in (my) adjacent valley, without an approved permit, for a one-way (no return) inter-basin transfer like clockwork.

This practically dries up Hoyes Run and if allowed undoubtably will at some point do so absolutely. Once, just ten years ago, it was the state's most unique natural trout stream (supported vibrant wild populations of native brook, wild brown, and wild rainbow trout... abundant, large, and gorgeous fish all). Then they (at least once) pay a comparatively small fine (a relative wrist slap, and not nearly enough to prevent recurrence of the environmentally abusive behavior).

MDE sees, hears, and speaks no evil about any of this, of course. What's worse, they place no critically essential discharge permit restrictions on the Keystone Lime Quarry at the head of the valley, which essentially causes stream piracy (capturing nearly all of the headspring source of the run during dry periods) to occur. What Keystone once did voluntarily (maintaining a flow-in equals flow-out regimen before their overly large capacity pump burned out within a month), MDE will NOT impose upon their permit.

So in essence the head of the stream literally is dry ground, and the entire balance of the run becomes a yo-yo discharge ditch, with too much flow about two days per summer week and none (sufficient to maintain healthy pops of trout) five summer days per week. This conserves the pump, not the stream! The combination of capturing the headsprings and simultaneous illegal groundwater withdrawal (by the Wisp) puts quite a double whammy upon the stream, and yet MDE steadfastly refuses to take a holistic view of the situation or do a thing about it. They will not even reply to detailed emails or letters.

Its so bad in fact, I've managed to find Keystone pumping a quite large flow (to de-water the quarry pit) into the head of the stream and found that very, very little of this slug of quarry-stored water even gets down to my end of the drainage (so much groundwater depression occurs when Wisp turns on their pumps that the water is 'sucked' out of the channel before it can get here!). Its an environmental atrocity, but neither Candus Tompson, Dan Rodricks, Tim Wheeler or any other Sunpaper's author who routinely cover other such circumstances will touch it, even when I beg for broader exposure.

So much for smart-growth... and I guess as a downstream riparian landowner I enjoy ZERO water rights? But when a small fish (a past neighbor) technically did something that in only a minor and temporary way impacted the same stream (putting the run back in its original channel after a flood by clearing accumulated debris), you'd have thought he was a terrorist given the number of enforcement boots on the ground, from all sorts of regulatory bodies. Same day a complaint was called in, these uniformed folk were running out of places to park!

This is why I consider most environment law to be so much 'happy talk': The various laws and regulations may theoretically apply in general, but practically, whenever in a specific case it might crimp the style of a developer or other 'big fish', inevitably workarounds effectively result in the wholesale destruction of the resource in question. In 2005 Wisp built North Camp ski slopes without even trying to follow the permit conditions provided for in their approved sediment and erosion control plan. They just tore the entire mountainside asunder from top to bottom, which understandably introduced MASSIVE quantities of sediment and stone into the stream with every significant rainfall for the next two to three years. But you cannot build your house on a steep slope... that's a no-no!

You know, DNR 'might' want to intervene, but apparently are toothless (by design of course) in the face of the political realitie$ which underlie the $ituation. Actually in this case they've even piled on, increasing the pressures upon what's left of the stream and its trout when they foolishly reintroduced otters in this watershed - a predictably bad move which has resulted in no societal benefit whatsoever (otters are largely nocturnal, and except for their sign, are rarely even seen. Now THEY are completely protected of course. I know of what I speak, having witnessed firsthand the depradations both on the run and on the Yock River many, many times. What was common (being able to observe large migrating and quality sized resident spawning trout in season at will, up and down the run) is now rather rare. This year I didn't see a single pair of rainbow trout anywhere constructing a redd site!

No wonder, when the entire stream is warmed, silted, flushed, over-predated, reduced to a trickle, and often the water in the largest deepest remaining pools barely covers the trouts' backs! This newbie but badie is a reproducing apex predator with a daily compulsion to consume #3 of flesh per day, and the reality that their preferred forage (crayfish) is effectively seasonally unavailable for three to four months per year (its called winter, when crayfish are known to burrow in for the duration and are therefore not readily available for foraging). What's that leave for them to eat? Interestingly, even the river chubs (formerly very large and readily observed in pools as being quite abundant) are depressed as well. Beyond what I've witnessed from my windows, its not hard to do the math on what's happening to a once trout-rich locale. Even the river's trout populations are effectively cropped down significantly, since this reach offers only very limited suitable habitat in both the heat of a dry summer and every single winter. So the trout are forced to concentrate together (as is evidenced every August and September by the strict concentration of ospreys and herons, who know their business rather well and are as honest and objective as they come). But it doesn't fit the DNR program to ever be second-guessed (even when they broadly and knowingly stocked whirling-disease exposed and potentialy infected hatchery trout!).

I digress, and yes I am bitter, but not without just cause. Came here naive and idealistic, began a modestly thriving biz, and was once DNR's most enthusiastic fan. Now am very, very disillusioned by it all. Hitched my whole wagon to a once rising but now fallen star, I guess. This previously quite popular and still scenic river that had way more space to fish (without crowding even on holiday weekends offering great weather and water conditions) than places to park has become the guiding destination of last resort... one outfitter located right on it well, I see towing their raft to the N.Br. Potomac with their clients. I flat gave up guiding here... didn't feel right to charge people hard-earned money when the op to make even a fair catch had become so ridiculously limited (at times there are only really two catbird seats within reasonable striking distance) and these are usually taken. There was a time when multiple free-rising fish were found literally every place one might expect to find one by reading the water, and then some. Particularly at summer's peak the Yock used to attract out-of-state guides with their clients' out-of-state money, both to wade and to float. I live at the main access and put-in, and would therefore know how relatively light the use of the river has become... and its not just the comms. Former regular as clockwork (very frequent) freelancers very rarely return to what was once their favorite place to fling a fly.

DNR now stuffs four-fold as many fingerling trout as they once did annualy (when the river fished wonderfully well), and in addition now routinely dumps excess and/or donated catchable adults here (never before needed, and which somehow never seem to last all that long). What's wrong with this picture? I guess otters can't read and therefore don't follow the catch & release regs? Their may as well be a "NO ENFORCEMENT: POACHERS WELCOME!" sign at the parking lots. Heck, for the most part even the poachers no longer bother, as there are more productive places to ply their trade.

But officially, DNR maintains that the river is "fully recovered". Yeah. Hard not to be downright cynical. Next it'll be didymo (rock snot), which the felt ban can at best only hope to slow down. Dropped $200 on some new Korkers boots last week, only to find out in short order (on merely the shallow gravel of Deer Creek of all places) I'm suddenly an old-man sort of wading angler (was formerly rather adept at it, in even much more challenging settings, wearing felts that is). This is why I've suddenly taken an interest in what for me are more distant fisheries. I once had it all and neither I nor my guests/clients even needed car keys to enjoy it. Oh well, I can at least still teach people how (in principle if not in practice) how to fish wonderfully well. This place used to be like pressing the 'easy button' even for the less skilled and more inept angler; unless in spate it put a smile on every face.

Now I see and talk with some few and dwindling, pretty darned impressive anglers (with good memories and even written daily documentation of former catches) who tell me that they had been thinking they just were experiencing a remarkably long run of 'bad luck of the draw' (being at the right place only at the wrong time, every time). This is such a universal experience (for years I conducted an objective de-briefing creel survey to assess/confirm my own experiences and those of my guests) I really don't think it can be attributed to chance. And except for those seasonal forced concentrations of the remaining trout, you also now see avian piscivore abundance has likewise dropped considerably (yes, an anecdotal observation, but that doesn't make it a false or a biased one... I just didn't know I should have made and recorded predatory bird count sightings on a monthly basis - my deficiency for not being more omnicient).

Yeah, those mis-disposed cig butts are really a big bad problem. Please pick 'em up when in this part of Garrett County! It may be that bio-accumulation of associated toxins in the fat of otters will lead to their extirpation, and THAT would be a incomparable tragedy. On the bright side (!) with trout densities in the river (not the run) now so reduced, the average size has gone from maybe 9-11" to maybe 12-14", with a much better shot at a true trophy fish (say 18" or better). I think the situation now even selects for larger fish (they are faster and stronger swimmers after all, better able to evade otters at summer and winter's peaks, and certainly able to occupy the last best feeding lies with a whole lot less crowding the rest of the year). Always nice to have a silver lining. So therapeutic. I'm not bent on gloom and doom continuing here. If it ever improves, I'll be the first one to admit (publicly) that I was ALL WRONG the entire time. I promise I am committed to only one thing - the unvarnished truth. Obviously there's less than nothing in it for me to report the status quo, right? But don't hold your breath waiting for that "all is now well again" admission to come along. Hamilton, MT just keeps looking better and better - not quite as close to the wealthiest and most crowded counties in the nation perhaps, but its in the banana belt of MT after all.

There, I feel just a little better getting that all out of my system (again). If you read all that and might even care at some level, thanks for indulging me. Now where should I look for a truly good fishing spot?
 

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I have always been disgusted by those who litter whether it's fast food wrappers in the Walmart parking lot or bottles and other debris in our waterways. I've noticed the cigarrette buts too. Hundreds if not thousands of them at the left turn lights. It would be nice if there was someone who was paid to go around cleaning them all up. It would be even better if people would transport them to a more suitable place for disposal.
 

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--Worried about a Ciggrette butt?--I Field Strip em & save the Filters to polish the Spoons on the Boat

OR I USTA , Lost My Coast Guard Ticket of 40 years because of G D BRUCE STRESS TEST , thats graded 1--9 -they want me to do a 8, GOOSE-Wata Represent me in a Age Discrimanation Case?----The "JIM CROW " law that i grew up with In VIRGINIA , Is Now waged on the Baby Boomers that Got ISSUED Cartons in the Service with our Clothing Allowence --We Have been UNFAIRLY TAXED for years, you Fishermen that Indulge in the other SIN behind the wheel ,will feel it soon--Hey you Tree Huggers & Do Gooders Provide us with at least a Bucket of Sand Near your Entrance & WE WILL use it --I guess this will be the SUMMER , HANG the Waterman Version--As far as Cigars I don't see ONE fish caught yet that Rates a VICTORY light up on the way in --HANG A SMOKER IN 2011--Nuff Said gewo.
 

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Goose,

I am in complete agreement. Many smokers don't seem to undersatand the cost or significance of throwing their cigarette butts on the ground...

http://www.cawrecycles.org/issues/cigarettes/costs

Cigarettes are not just costly to society when they are smoked. As litter they cost taxpayers billions every year.

Local governments are particularly hardhit by the costs of cleaning up cigarette litter, the most abundant type of litter. Efforts to reduce and cleanup cigarette pollution and litter are resulting in significant new costs for public agencies and taxpayers. Public agencies in California are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually on litter cleanup. Residents of areas with federally-deemed impaired waterways, such as the LA River, pay billions to meet Total Maximum Daily Loads for trash. Indeed local officials have estimated complying with TMDL requirements could cost a total of $23 billion.

On top of the costs of litter abatement, fires caused by discarded cigarettes result in billions of damages, as well as the destruction of human life, wildlife, and entire ecosystems. It is hard to imagine a more menacing litter culprit than the cigarette butt.
 

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Black Flag & Killer x Rays

Goose --Google BLACK FLAG INSECTIDE--If Ya Smoke ENOUGH the Nicotine Kills every BAD bug in your Body just like Black Flag

--Goggle -U S Sergeon General says ALL smokers should get 2 chest X rays a year, he was in office 4 years --2x4 =8 early Type x rays

-Goggle-TOM Mc Cann Shoes can measure your feet with x rays so ya don't have to buy kids new shoes every 6 mo.--Foot xray had 2 expermental bulbs in it ---That My Friend is why us Smokers saved the Medicare Costs by Dieing Early , Some believe in Doctors Orders--geo.
 

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so easy for smokers to take charge of their butts and put in ashtrays and empty the ashtrays into trashcans. but so many can't be bothered, the world is their ashtray, and then they whine when others point out the problem they unnecessarily make. my son got a $140 ticket for it. he still throws them on the road.
 
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