This is important information if you fish. PLEASE do not feed fish bones or carcasses to pelicans or seabirds! It can be fatal.
Please…don’t puncture their pouches!
It is common to see birds at fish-cleaning stations, watching for an easy meal. But we have a request…please don’t feed the birds! Feeding wildlife is never a good idea, but pelicans are particularly sensitive to feeding. Fish carcasses can get lodged in their pouches and sharp bones can even puncture them, preventing the pelican from being able to eat. Feeding can also change their natural behavior, making them dependent on people for food. Intentionally feeding pelicans is illegal, and you could be subject to arrest. Anglers can remain committed conservationists by discarding fish carcasses and scraps in a lidded trash can or at home instead of in the water.
Torn pouches on pelicans are very difficult to repair. The pouch tissue does not behave like human skin. It can tear more under the tension exerted by sutures or staples, it heals very slowly, and if a tear heals, it remains weaker tissue and is prone to tearing again.
More information on avoiding injuries to and helping entangled pelicans and seabirds here: Avoid entanglement