New York

Why Fish Lead Free | Angler’s Guide | Where to Buy | Tackle Disposal 

Anglers: Know the Law

Sale Laws: It is illegal to sell at retail or offer for retail sale lead fishing sinkers weighing one-half ounce or less.                                                                                                                                                 Use Laws: There are no laws regarding the use of lead fishing tackle.

Why Fish Lead Free?

Common Loons are designated as a Species of Special Concern in New York State, as well as protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty. With an estimated 600-850 loon breeding pairs in New York (2012) and successful pairs producing about one chick every two years, keeping lead tackle out of New York waters will increase the survival of these adult loons and their young. Ingested lead fishing tackle is one of the leading causes of death for adult Common Loons, but also affects many other species of wildlife in New York.

Angler’s Guide to Fishing Lead-Free

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 use
  • Any zinc-containing fishing tackle is not recommended because it is also toxic to wildlife

Where to Buy Lead-Free Tackle in New York

  • Because it is illegal to sell sinkers one-half ounce or less, almost all New York stores who sell fishing tackle should carry lead-free sinkers one-half ounce or less.

For a list of Online Retailers please click here.

If you’d like to add your store to the local state list above, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page. 

Fish Lead-Free Lead Tackle Disposal/Collection Bins

  • You can dispose of lead at your local Hazardous Waste Day in your town.


For more information regarding lead-free fishing in New York please click here. 

If you would like to add your local store to the above list, please fill out the following form: 

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