One of the black swans at Forest Lake has tragically died after a hook and a piece of fishing line became wrapped tightly around its neck.
On April 19 Forest Lake local Christine Pipistrelli found the swan and called the RSPCA, who attended to the swan within the hour.
“Sadly his oesophagus was damaged due to a fishing hook and line and [he] had to be euthanised,” Christine said.
Photograph of the black swan killed by fishing gear: its neck strangled by a fishing line and hook. The swan later had to be euthanised due to extensive esophagus damage. Photo by Christine Pipistrelli.
The death of the swan comes just months after all five of another swan pairs’ babies passed away within 10 days of hatching at the Lake, an issue which has sadly occurred nearly every year over the last decade.
Christine said she sees kids fishing at the lake nearly every day, and hopes improved signage will help prevent harmful and illegal fishing.
“Every time I tell the kids they can’t fish here, they say ‘yes I can, because there are no ‘no fishing’ signs,’” she said.
“We need more “No Fishing” and “Penalties Apply” signs … we only have “No Fishing” signs in about two places.”
Each year the RSPCA receives thousands of callouts to animals endangered by litter and irresponsibly dumped fishing gear, with swans and other water birds impacted the most.
Christine has asked Forest Lake Ward councillor Charles Strunk to do more to prevent harmful fishing activity at the lake.
Cr Strunk said Brisbane City council officers will now be monitoring illegal fishing activity at the Lake, especially after school hours and during school holidays.
“It is always terrible to hear of injuries to native wildlife in the lake and surrounding parklands,” he said.
“I will do everything I can to protect the flora and fauna within our parks.
“I’m working with Brisbane City Council officers to see if we can improve the messaging on the illegal fishing signs to include the actual fine amount that applies.”
Christine regularly advocates for wildlife at the lake and is constantly picking up irresponsibly dumped fishing lines and hooks.
Her posts about the swan killed at the lake on the Forest Lake Community Forum page on Facebook received around 100 comments from community members.
“This is so sad. Our swans are so beautiful and precious,” one group member said.
Another commenter said “it’s not really an appropriate place for people to let their kids go to practice fishing, as evidenced by this poor swan now fighting for its life.”
Christine said she hopes to see the end of amateur fishermen causing harm to wildlife on the lake.
“Sadly for this poor swan, it’s too late. He was in a lot of pain, because of clueless, careless people.”