Anglers: Know the Law
Lead sinkers 1 oz and less are banned in Maine. Starting in September 2016, the sale of bare lead headed jigs less than 2 ½ inches long will be banned, followed by a ban on their use starting in September 2017.
Why Fish Lead Free?
Fishing lead free is better for our lakes and our wildlife. Ingested lead fishing tackle is the leading cause of death for adult Common Loons of which there are around 4,500 adults across the state. Keeping lead sinkers out of Maine waters will increase the survival of these birds and will allow for continued population growth of this species across the northeast.
Angler’s Guide to Lead-Free Fishing
Non-toxic tackle comes in many metal choices and modern metal alloys offer the angler a number of advantages:
- They are environmentally safe
- They have more sound producing qualities to call in those fish and up your catch
- Tungsten, is more dense and hard than lead, and allows the angler to “feel” the bait more effectively which in turns helps the angler feel the bite
- Tin, Bismuth, and Steel alloy tackle are lighter than lead but many anglers have reported good success with the use of less weight, allowing for a more natural appearance and presentation of the bait or lure used
- Any zinc-containing fishing tackle is not recommended because it is also toxic to wildlife
Where to Buy Lead-Free Tackle in Maine
- The Tackle Shop: (207)-773-3474, 61 India St, Portland, ME 04101
- Saco Bay Tackle Shop: (207)-284-4453, 977 Portland Rd, Saco, ME 04072
- Luke’s Reel Repair: (207)-985-2492, 737 Alewive Rd, Kennebunk, ME 04043
- Mainely Bait & Tackle: (207)-993-3031, 1340 N Palermo Rd, Palermo, ME 04354
- M.C.W. Bait & Tackle: (207)-642-3039, 60 Fort Hill Rd, Standish, Maine 04084
- Moosehead Bait and Tackle: (207)-534-226, Jackman Rd, Rockwood, ME 04478
For a list of Online Retailers please click here.
If you’d like to add your local Maine store to the list above, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
Lead Tackle Collection/Disposal Sites
Maine Audubon Centers
- Gilsland Farm*: 20 Gilsland Farm Rd, Falmouth, ME 04105; (207) 781-2330
- Fields Pond*: 216 Fields Pond Rd., Holden, ME 04429; (207) 989-2591
Maine IFW Offices
- Ashland*: 63 Station Hill Road, Ashland, ME 04732-0447;(207) 435-3231
- Augusta*: 284 State Street, Station 41, Augusta, ME 04333-004; (207) 287-8000
- Bangor*: 650 State Street, Bangor, ME 04401
- Enfield*: 73 Cobb Road, Enfield, ME 04493: (207) 732-4131
- Gray*: RR1, 358 Shaker Road, Gray, ME 04039; (207) 657-2345
- Greenville*: 18 Village Street, Greenville, ME 04441(207) 695-3756
- Jonesboro*: 317 Whitneyville Road, Jonesboro, ME 04648
- Sidney*: 270 Lyons Road, Sidney, ME 04330-9711; (207) 547-5300
- Strong*: 689 Farmington Road, Strong, ME 04983; (207) 778-3322
*also an exchange site where samples of lead-free tackle are available.
- Belfast: 32 Little River Dr. Belfast, ME 04915; (207) 338-1817
- Carrabassett Valley: 1 mile north of Sugarloaf access road, Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947; (207)-237-2779
- Eagle Lake: Convent Rd, Eagle Lake, ME 04739, (207) 444-6246
- Millinocket: 20 Cedar Street, Millinocket, ME 04462
- Sherman: 253 Extract Rd, Sherman, ME 04776, (207) 365-4879
- Bridgewater: 11 Bootfoot Rd, Bridgewater, ME 04735 (town hall) and Bridgewater Transfer Station, Corner Road, Bridgewater, ME 04735 , (207)-429-9856
- Skowhegan: Steward Hill Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976, (207)- 474-6918
- Biddeford: 371 Hill Street, Biddeford, ME 04005, (207) 282-1579
Additional Disposal Options
- Riverside Recycling Facility : 207-797-6200, 910 riverside St, Portland ME 04103
- Perry Iron & Metal Co. : 207-775-3181, 115 Lancaster St, Portland ME 04101
- Schnitzer Northeast Scrapmetal Dealer: (207)- 772-8329, 568 Riverside Street, Portland, ME 04103 US
Tackle Exchange Events
Upcoming Lead Exchange Events
- On-going exchanges are taking place at many of the disposal locations listed above
- Stay tuned for dates regarding lead exchange events this summer
Would You Like to Host a Lead Exchange Event?
We are currently assembling exchange kits for distribution in 2016. If you are attending a public event like a lake association meeting or civic group meeting, or if you have a location like a town office or library that could host an exchange, please let us know. Each kit comes with an assortment of lead-free tackle (valued at over $100 retail), outreach materials (rack cards and posters), and stickers to attach to a container for lead tackle collection. Kits will be mailed out this spring and summer.
About Lead Exchange Presentations:
Presentations are 30-50 minutes long and include a multimedia slide show about loon natural history as well as an overview of the current threats, including lead tackle. Lead-free tackle and outreach materials will also be available.
We are taking reservations and saving dates for the summer right now! Please email us and we will get in touch with you!
For more information or to schedule a presentation for your organization, please email Susan Gallo from Maine Audubon Society.
Dead Loon Hotline
- If you find a dead loon, please call our dead loon hotline: (207)-781- 6180 ext. 275.
- We are currently looking for freshly dead loons to necropsy right away so if the dead loon you found meets almost all of the following criteria please double bag the loon and place in your REFRIGERATOR or IN A COOLER ON ICE and call our hotline immediately.
- If the loon appears to be “edible”
- Little to no smell
- Little to no bloating
- Little to no scavenger damage
- If the loon is more liquid than solid and/or maggot-filled then please double bag the loon and place in a freezer right away to stop any further decomposition and call our hotline.
If you’d like to add your local Maine store to the list above, please fill out the form: