References and resources
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — 888-MINNDNR
- The University of Minnesota Raptor Center — 612-624-4745
- Tufts University's School of Veterinary Medicine conducted an ongoing study of loon mortality, in which they name lead fishing gear as a danger to water birds.
- Michigan's Department of Natural Resources has posted information on lead poisoning of water birds and waterfowl.
- The Canadian Wildlife Service has introductory information on loons.
- Environment Canada has posted resources as part of their Fish Lead Free education efforts.
- Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program offers information on lead and loons, and ran a lead sinker exchange program in New York (Summer 2003).
- The New York Department of Conservation hosts a Common Loons and Lead Fishing Weights web page.
- The American Sportfishing Association, the "sportfishing industry's trade association," has posted The Practical Biological Impacts of Banning Lead Sinkers for Fishing (Dec. 2002). ASA takes the position that loon populations, and populations of other water birds, are not significantly reduced by lead sinker ingestion, and supports voluntary angler education programs for the use and proper disposal of lead sinkers.
- Canadian wildlife rehabilitation expert Kit Chubb shares her experiences and perspective in caring for lead-poisoned loons in her column Studies of 32 lead-poisoned Common Loons (March 2005).
- Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife published Fish and Wildlife Issues Related to the Use of Lead Fishing Gear (December 2006).
Citations of scientific studies done to date on lead fishing gear ingestion in common loons. (Sorted by publishing date.)
- Goddard, Leonard, Stang, Wingate, Rattner, Franson, and Sheffield. May 2008. Management Concerns about Known and Potential Impacts of Lead Use in Shooting and Fishing Activities (4Mb); Fisheries Vol. 33, # 5 (American Fisheries Society).
- Radomski, Heinrich, Jones, Rivers, and Talmage, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2006. Estimates of Tackle Loss for Five Minnesota Walleye Fisheries; North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26:206-212.
- Cutright and Diehl, Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, April 2006. Lead poisoning of Wisconsin's birds.
- Abstracts of eleven papers presented at the "Lead Sinker Symposium" held during the 32nd Aquatic Toxicity Workshop) (October 2-5, 2005) in Waterloo, Ontario.
- Cooley, Thomas M., Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Loon Mortality in Michigan 1987-2004 (PowerPoint).
- Sidor, Pokras, Major, Taylor, and Miconi. 2003. Mortality of the common loon in New England, 1987-2000. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39: 306-315. Full study
- Donaldson, Scheuhammer, Money, and Kirk. March 2003. Lead fishing sinkers and jigs in Canada: Review of their use patterns and toxic impacts on wildlife. Canadian Wildlife Service, Occasional Paper 108 (CW691/108E).
- Franson, Hansen, Creekmore, Brand, Evers, Duerr, DeStefano, March 2003. Lead Fishing Weights and Other Fishing Tackle in Selected Waterbirds. Waterbirds 26(3): 345-352, 2003.
- Stone and Okoniewski. 2001. Necropsy findings and environmental contaminants in common loons from New York. Journal of Wildlife Diseases Vol. 37(1):178-184.
- Daoust, Conboy, McBurney, and Burgess. 1998. Interactive mortality factors in common loons from maritime Canada. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 34: 524-531.
- Scheuhammer and Norris. 1996. The ecotoxicology of lead shot and lead fishing weights. Ecotoxicology 5:279-295.
- Scheuhammer and Norris. 1995. A review of the environmental impacts of lead shotshell ammunition and lead fishing weights in Canada. Canadian Wildlife Service, Occasional Paper 88 (CW69-1/88E).
- Pokras and Chafel. 1992. Lead toxicosis from ingested fishing sinkers in adult common loons (Gavia immer) in New England. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 23: 92-97.
- Non-toxic tackle is a tough sell, Rochester Post-Bulletin, June 26, 2007
- Prettner Solon spearheads new effort to get the lead out, Duluth News Tribune, March 07, 2007
- Curbing danger to wildlife: Agencies fish out deadly lead lures, St. Cloud Times, August 17, 2006
- Lead poisoning in paradise: Loons threatened, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 1, 2006
- Getting the Lead Out: Minnesota manufacturers, entrepreneurs add nontoxic bismuth, tungsten-plastic blends or glass to their fishing tackle offerings, Duluth News Tribune, June 19, 2005
- Wild Ways: The Nonlead Tackle Advantage, New Hampshire Wildlife Journal (New Hampshire Fish & Game), May-June 2004
- Getting the Lead Out, National Wildlife (National Wildlife Federation), October-November 2003
- Getting the Lead Out, Minnesota Public Radio, July 15, 2003
- Tackling Toxic Tackle, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer (Minnesota DNR), May-June 2003
- Legislation fails 'hook, line and sinker,' but author will persevere, Park Rapids Enterprise, April 5, 2003
- Lead tackle ban dropped; non-lead alternatives promoted, Star Tribune, April 2, 2003
- Editorial: A loony idea whose time has come, Park Rapids Enterprise, March 22, 2003
- Ban on lead sinkers debated, Star Tribune, March 19, 2003
- How much is a loon worth?, The Pilot-Independent (Walker, Minn.), March 7, 2003
- Bill puts focus on loons and lead, Timberjay News, January 25, 2003
- A ban on lead?, International Falls Daily Journal, January 16, 2003
- Editorial: Ban lead fishing tackle to save Minnesota's loons, Duluth News Tribune, January 11, 2003
- Bill would ban lead fishing sinkers, Duluth News Tribune, January 10, 2003
- Poison in the Tackle Box, Duluth News Tribune, May 5, 2002
- Environmental Threat: Lead Sinkers, Minnesota Public Radio, May 9, 2000
- Abstracts: Lead Sinker Symposium (2005) Abstracts of eleven papers presented at the "Lead Sinker Symposium" held during the 32nd Aquatic Toxicity Workshop (October 2-5, 2005) in Waterloo, Ontario.
- Bass fishing basics: Bass sinkers and jigheads 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.
- Denmark adopts ban on products containing lead 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.
- Environment Canada: Fish lead free
- Estimates of Tackle Loss for Five Minnesota Walleye Fisheries 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)
- Fishing Lead Free: A Regulatory Proposal
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. This was done as follow-up to
commitments made in the House of Commons in 2002 during debates on
Votable Motion-414 to ban the use of lead sinkers and jigs, and as followup
to the 2003 release of the Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper
108* entitled Lead fishing sinkers and jigs in Canada: Review of their use
patterns and toxic impacts on wildlife. Occasional Paper 108 reviews the
issue of lead sinker toxicity for loons and other wildlife and provides a
scientific basis for the proposed regulation. The purpose of this discussion
paper, Fishing Lead Free: A Regulatory Proposal, is to provide a reference
point for the consultations during the development of the regulations. It is
recommended that Occasional Paper 108 be reviewed by those desiring a
more thorough technical understanding of the issue.
- Interactive mortality factors in common loons from Maritime Canada 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)
- Lead In Fishing Tackle (American Sportfishing Association) 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.
- Lead in Sport Fishing Tackle - Final Draft Policy Statement (American Fisheries Society) The policy of the American Fisheries Society, in regard to lead fishing tackle. Final draft: Sept. 2011.
- Lead Objects Ingested by Common Loons in New England 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.
- Loon Health and Mortality Almost half (44%) of the dead and dying breeding loons submitted to the Wildlife Clinic at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Massachusetts suffered from lead poisoning. Virtually all of this is from eating lead fishing gear.
- Loon Mortality in Michigan 1987-2004 PowerPoint presentation by Thomas M. Cooley, Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
- Maine: Unlawful sale of lead sinkers Maine state law (effective 2002) restricts the sale of lead sinkers weighing 1/2 ounce or less, not the use.
- Management Concerns about Known and Potential Impacts of Lead Use in Shooting and in Fishing Activities (2008) 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.)
- Massachusetts: Loons, lead sinkers, and jigs 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. In June 2000, the Massachusetts Fisheries & Wildlife Board voted to prohibit the use of all lead sinkers for the taking of fish in Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs, the two bodies of water that support the core of that state's loon population.
- Mortality of the common loon in New England, 1987-2000
Sidor, Pokras, Major, Taylor, and Miconi. 2003. Mortality of the common loon in New England, 1987-2000. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39: 306-315.
- National Wildlife Federation: Getting the Lead Out 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)
- Necropsy findings and environmental contaminants in common loons from New York (2001)
- New Hampshire: Keep Getting the Lead Out - It's the Law! 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.
- New South Wales Legislative Council: Discussion of a Lead Sinkers Ban (2005) 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.
- New York: Lead Fishing Weights and Loons 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.
- Position paper: The Practical Impacts of Banning Lead Sinkers for Fishing (2011) A paper by the American Sportfishing Association, reviewing the existing science on the effects of lead on waterfowl populations. (June 2011)
- Quetico Provincial Park Fisheries Stewardship Plan 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.
- Review of the Environmental Impacts of Lead Shotshell Ammunition and Lead Fishing Weights in Canada (1995) 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)
- Sinkers - Get the lead out! Non-lead fishing tackle is an effective alternative, and it protects loons, eagles, and other wildlife.
- Sources of lead-free tackle (MassWildlife) 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.
- United Kingdom: Lead weights for fishing 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.
- Vermont: An act relating to a prohibition against the use and sale of lead sinkers 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.
- Washington: Conserving Common Loons by Managing Use of Lead Fishing Tackle 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.
- ¡Elimine el plomo! (Sinkers: Get the lead out! - Spanish) ¡Elimine el plomo! (Sinkers: Get the lead out! - Spanish) - w-hhw4-66b