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References and resources

A mix of research, articles, and educational resources on the topic of lead-free fishing tackle.

  • PDF Document Abstracts: Lead Sinker Symposium (2005) (symposium2005)
    Abstracts of eleven papers presented at the "Lead Sinker Symposium" held during the 32nd Aquatic Toxicity Workshop (October 2-5, 2005) in Waterloo, Ontario.
  • HTML Content Bass fishing basics: Bass sinkers and jigheads [status: currently unavailable]
    Don Wirth, Updated: February 18, 2008
    Sinker Materials: Lead has traditionally been used to make sinkers and jigheads because it's inexpensive and easily molded in a variety of shapes. However, lead has proven to be toxic to fish, birds and other animals (including humans), and lead sinkers and jigs are currently banned in a growing number of states. Tungsten is an excellent, albeit expensive, substitute for lead. BASS pros use tungsten weights when a stealthier presentation is required — tungsten is heavier than lead, allowing a smaller, less conspicuous weight to be used. Brass is a popular material for worm weights and Carolina sinkers. It produces loud clicks and rattles when dragged across the bottom, and its light-reflective finish can attract bass.
  • HTML Content Denmark adopts ban on products containing lead External Link
    Denmark's statutory order prohibiting the import and marketing of products containing lead entered into force on December 1, 2000. Companies are now prohibited from importing and marketing any product containing lead. Prohibitions for both sport and commercial fishing equipment were effective December 2002.
  • HTML Content Environment Canada - Fish lead free [status: currently unavailable]
  • HTML Content Environmental Threat - Lead Sinkers External Link
    The humble sinker is a fishing essential. Can they be lead free? (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • PDF Document Estimates of Tackle Loss for Five Minnesota Walleye Fisheries (radomski2006)
    There are few studies that quantify tackle loss for recreational fisheries; this study sought to determine tackle loss for five large lake fisheries in Minnesota. (Radomski, Heinrich, Jones, Rivers, and Talmage; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)
  • PDF Document Fishing Lead Free - A Regulatory Proposal (leadfree-canada2005)
    On February 17, 2004, the Minister of the Environment announced his intention to develop regulations to prohibit the import, manufacture, and sale of lead sinkers and jigs used in fishing.
  • HTML Content Interactive mortality factors in common loons from Maritime Canada External Link
    Necropsies of 31 moribund or dead common loons (Gavia immer) found in the three Maritime provinces of Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) suggest that lead poisoning is a contributing factor to loon mortality. (Daoust PY, Conboy G, McBurney S, Burgess N. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, July 1998)
  • HTML Content Lead in fishing tackle (American Sportfishing Association) External Link
    The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) acknowledges that lead toxicosis can kill water birds and lead fishing tackle may contribute to this mortality. However, based on a review of the impact of lead fishing tackle on waterbird populations, ASA has found that insufficient data exists to warrant state or federal bans on lead fishing tackle.
  • PDF Document Lead Objects Ingested by Common Loons in New England External Link
    Necropsies of Gavia immer (Common Loon) recovered lead and non-lead foreign objects from gastrointestinal tracts. Carcasses collected between 1987 and 2000 reveal that a great deal of loon mortality on lakes in New England is attributable to ingestion of lead objects. In this study, 522 carcasses were examined to inspect the types, sizes, and masses of 222 objects responsible for lead toxicosis. Most ingested lead objects were less than 2.5 cm long and weighed less than 25g. Information on objects ingested by loons may help in development of non-toxic alternatives.
  • HTML Content Let’s Get the Lead Out, New Hampshire External Link
    A grassroots campaign to help protect loons and other waterbirds from lead poisoning. Led by the New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES) with support from the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC), the effort seeks to provide local groups with information and tools to host lead fishing tackle collection and exchange events, encourage anglers to use lead-free tackle, and encourage retailers to stock lead-free tackle.
  • HTML Content Loon Health and Mortality External Link
    Almost half (44%) of the dead and dying breeding loons submitted to the Wildlife Clinic at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University (Massachusetts) suffered from lead poisoning. Virtually all of this is from eating lead fishing gear.
  • MS Powerpoint Document Loon Mortality in Michigan 1987-2004 (cooley-loonmortality)
    PowerPoint presentation by Thomas M. Cooley, Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
  • HTML Content Loons External Link
    Backgrounder on loons (Canadian Wildlife Service)
  • HTML Content Maine: Unlawful sale of lead sinkers External Link
    Maine state law (effective 2002) restricts the sale of lead sinkers weighing 1/2 ounce or less, not the use.
  • HTML Content Management Concerns about Known and Potential Impacts of Lead Use in Shooting and in Fishing Activities (2008) External Link
    A summary of a technical review addressing the hazards to wildlife resulting from lead ammunition and fishing tackle. This article discusses the general biological impacts of lead exposure from fishing and shooting activities to fish, wildlife, and humans; summarizes existing and proposed regulations to reduce lead exposure to biota; reviews alternatives to lead materials that are currently available for fishing; and outlines options for further actions to reduce wildlife and human exposure to lead from fishing activities. (Goddard, Leonard, Stang, Wingate, Rattner, Franson, and Sheffield; Fisheries Vol. 33, No. 5.)
  • HTML Content Massachusetts: Loons, lead sinkers, and jigs External Link
    January 1, 2012: The use of any lead fishing sinkers and lead jigs weighing less than 1 ounce is now prohibited in all inland waters (fresh water) of the Commonwealth.
  • HTML Content Michigan: Lead poisoning External Link
    Background on lead poisoning and water bird mortality. Lead poisoning cases today are either the result of ingestion of bullet fragments, spent lead shot or fishing sinkers and jig heads during normal feeding activities. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
  • HTML Content Minnesota: Get the lead out External Link
    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources acknowledges that lead-free tackle could reduce the risks of lead poisoning in the state's water birds, including the loon.
  • PDF Document Mortality of the common loon in New England, 1987-2000 (sidor2003)
    Sidor, Pokras, Major, Taylor, and Miconi. 2003. Mortality of the common loon in New England, 1987-2000. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39: 306-315.
  • HTML Content National Wildlife Federation: Getting the Lead Out External Link
    Lead fishing tackle kills loons; with no national policy to fight the problem, conservationists are convincing anglers to switch to nontoxic alternatives. (National Wildlife Federation Magazine, 2001)
  • PDF Document Necropsy findings and environmental contaminants in common loons from New York (2001) (stone2001)
    Stone and Okoniewski. 2001. Necropsy findings and environmental contaminants in common loons from New York. Journal of Wildlife Diseases Vol. 37(1):178-184.
  • HTML Content New Hampshire: Keep Getting the Lead Out - It's the Law! External Link
    In 2000, New Hampshire was the first state to ban lead sinkers and jigs to protect common loons and other diving birds. The ban prohibits both the sale and use of lead sinkers weighing 1 ounce or less and lead jigs less than 1 inch long along their longest axis.
  • PDF Document New South Wales Legislative Council: Discussion of a Lead Sinkers Ban (2005) External Link
    In Australia, leaders colorfully debated whether to restrict the use of lead fishing tackle. In October 2005, the New South Wales Legislative Council (state senate) discussed Canada's proposed restrictions and members of Parliament sparred over the severity of the issue.
  • HTML Content New York: Lead Fishing Weights and Loons External Link
    In recognition of the threat to loons and other birds, effective May 2004, New York banned the sale of lead sinkers weighing less than half of an ounce.
  • HTML Content News: In Minnesota, lead-free fishing tackle gets another look External Link
    Dave Orrick, St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • PDF Document Policy statement - Lead in Sport Fishing Tackle (American Fisheries Society) External Link
    The policy of the American Fisheries Society, in regard to lead fishing tackle. Adopted October 2012.
  • PDF Document Position paper - The Practical Impacts of Banning Lead Sinkers for Fishing (2011) External Link
    A paper by the American Sportfishing Association, reviewing the existing science on the effects of lead on waterfowl populations. (June 2011)
  • PDF Document Quetico Provincial Park Fisheries Stewardship Plan External Link
    This Fisheries Stewardship Plan was developed to provide management direction for the protection of the ecological integrity of aquatic ecosystems in Quetico Provincial Park (QPP) in Ontario, Canada. Among the key initiatives: Lead Sinkers and Jigs - Encourage the use of alternative, non-lead tackle within QPP through a comprehensive educational campaign as well as the provision of alternative fishing gear at the entry stations and Park Stores. Local merchants and outfitters will also be encouraged to offer lead free fishing gear. Researchers will be encouraged to study the effects of lead on aquatic wildlife and ecosystems. Federal initiatives concerning the issue of lead in fishing tackle will be monitored.
  • PDF Document Review of the Environmental Impacts of Lead Shotshell Ammunition and Lead Fishing Weights in Canada (1995) External Link
    This report reviews the available information, from Canada and elsewhere, on the use, environmental fate, and toxicity of spent lead shot and lost lead fishing weights and discusses options for managing the negative impacts of these products. (Scheuhammer, et al)
  • PDF Document Sinkers - Get the lead out! (w-hhw4-66)
    Non-lead fishing tackle is an effective alternative, and it protects loons, eagles, and other wildlife.
  • HTML Content Sources of lead-free tackle (MassWildlife) External Link
    As of January 1, 2012, use of lead fishing sinkers and lead jigs weighing less than 1 ounce is prohibited in all inland waters (fresh water) of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MassWildlife has compiled this list for anglers to help them find products which comply with the law.
  • HTML Content Studies of 32 lead-poisoned Common Loons (2005) External Link
    A column by Canadian wildlife rehabilitation expert Kit Chubb, who shares her experiences and perspective in caring for lead-poisoned loons. (March 2005)
  • HTML Content United Kingdom: Lead weights for fishing External Link
    Byelaw relating to use of lead weights by anglers: No fishing weights made of lead may be used except those of 0.06 grams or less and those of more than 28.35 grams. In angling terms this means that lead shot from size 14 to size 8 and lead weights of over 1 ounce can be used in fishing.
  • HTML Content Vermont: An act relating to a prohibition against the use and sale of lead sinkers External Link
    In 2004, the Vermont Legislature passed a bill banning the sale (January 2006) of lead sinkers weighing 1/2 ounce or less, and then the use (January 2007) of those lead sinkers in the state.
  • HTML Content Washington: Conserving Common Loons by Managing Use of Lead Fishing Tackle External Link
    Effective May 2011, restrictions are in place for use of lead fishing tackle at Washington lakes where loons breed and rear young. They were adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in December 2010. The rules are intended to improve loon survival by keeping loons from being poisoned by ingesting small lead fishing gear lost by anglers.
  • PDF Document ¡Elimine el plomo! (Sinkers: Get the lead out! - Spanish) (w-hhw4-66b)
    ¡Elimine el plomo! (Sinkers: Get the lead out! - Spanish) - w-hhw4-66b

Last modified on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 14:02