Fisherman Saves Fish Who Was Injured By Someone's Litter

"I put the fish into the water; it darted out of my hands and took off to hopefully a better life."

Whoever chose to litter this small bit of plastic wrapping probably did so without a second thought — but the consequence of their mindless act was lasting and brutal.

Adam Turnbull

Adam Turnbull is an outdoorsman from Alberta, Canada. Most days, he can be found catch-and-release fishing in a river near his home, aiming to leave a minimal mark on nature while engaging in his favorite pastime.. But he recently got a firsthand look at the damage done by some litterbug who changed a fish's life forever.

It was only when Turnbull began reeling in the northern pike that he discovered that sad truth.

"When I first saw it in the water I thought maybe it had been attacked by another fish," he told The Dodo. "Then I picked it up out of the water and realized it was a bottle wrapper around the fish."

Adam Turnbull

Judging from the deformity, which resulted from the fish's body growing around the constrictive ring, the poor creature had spent much of life strangled by trash.

"I was kind of shocked that it was garbage that caused this," Turnbull said.

Using a small pair of scissors, he cut off the plastic — though the mark it left is indelible. 

Adam Turnbull

Despite the long ordeal, the fish had been found in time and appeared to have a fighting chance of continued survival. So, after righting the litterbug's wrong as best as he could, Turnbull returned his catch to the river.

"I put the fish into the water; it darted out of my hands and took off to hopefully a better life," he said.

Those who fail to properly dispose of waste, even the most benign-seeming pieces, will likely never see the impact their actions have down the line. But Turnbull hopes others will be inspired to change their behavior after learning of this fish's struggle — and even help by picking up litter that they see. Sometimes, the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference:

"I'm just glad I could save this one fish," Turnbull said.