We have a sneak peak of the Summer 2016 Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) newsletter! The Executive Director and Senior Biologist at LPC Harry Vogel shares his thoughts on the recent legislative changes to the use and sale of lead tackle in New Hampshire in a letter.
On June 1st of 2016, new legislation went into effect in New Hampshire that was passed in 2013 as Senate Bill 89. With this new law on the books, the sale and freshwater use of lead sinkers and lead jigs weighing an ounce or less is not permitted. These changes represent a culmination of decades of work by many different parties, and they are an important next step in protecting the common loon as well as over two dozen other species that are known to have died from lead poisoning in the past following ingestion of lead fishing sinkers and jigs.
“After years of education through programs, press releases and other means and no drop in loon mortalities from ingested tackle, we realized that a comprehensive solution including legislation to restrict the sale and use of these toxic sinkers and jigs was needed.”
LPC has been an important part of the efforts to monitor loon mortality data.Through their work, they have shown that the leading known cause of adult loon mortality is from ingested lead tackle. Over the last 25 years, 48% of the loons collected in New Hampshire were determined to have died from lead poisoning from ingesting lead sinkers or jigs. For more information on this study and others by LPC, click here.
For the full letter from director Harry Vogel, click here.
It is vital that we continue to work with anglers across the Northeast to make changes that protect sensitive wildlife. For those anglers in New Hampshire, we encourage you to make sure your tackle is in accordance with the new regulations. If you need to purchase new lead-free tackle, there are many sources listed on our Online Retailers page. For those in other states, continue to be aware of changes to local legislation and check your state page for more information.