When I was about seven years old we were staying at a campground that sold red wigglers for fishing. Being a rather strange and oversensitive child (who grew into a strange and sensitive adult) I spent the money my parents gave me for chips and a pop on a Styrofoam packet of worms instead. I took the worms to the nearby forest and released them. I had always felt good about saving the worms from the fate of the hook and lure.
That is until now.
I just learned that releasing red wigglers into a forest is a terrible thing to do. For the forest, not the worms.
Red Wigglers can eat an amazing amount of forest litter…leaves, pine cones, bark etc. In fact, they eat so much that the plants that rely on the forest litter to provide them with the shelter, moisture and nutrients they need no longer grow in areas with a high amount of these worms.
You can usually tell there are too many worms simply by noting how little natural forest debris is on the forest floor.
Taking your worms home from your fishing expedition and releasing them in your garden or compost pile is the best option. Unless your garden is actually in the forest, then you might want to consider setting up a worm farm in a closet or basement. For more on that click right here.