Local fisherman trades pole for magnet, cleans up his mind and waterways

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A local fisherman exchanges his lures for a magnet. He’s using it to clean up rivers one hidden metal treasure at a time. The odd hobby began as a way to cope with a common mental health condition.

A few times a week you can find Tom Roark out on the water with his magnet in hand. He’s searching for metal objects polluting the bottom of waterways. He says it helps remedy complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) issues.

“I’ve tried meditation, guided meditation, and I go to therapy, and this helps better than any of them.”

So far, he’s unearthed everything from a sign to small pieces of local history. He says it’s just like fishing, and that he can even feel the nibbles.  Typically, he spends his time on the White River in Noblesville. The more he picks up, the more he feels like he is impacting the environment.

“Yesterday I was almost flat down to the water, I had so much metal in here,” Roark joked.

Roark would like to get veterans out on the water with him to see if it helps others with PTSD symptoms.

As for the metal, he plans to give it to local craftsmen who can repurpose it.

 

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