Christopher Smith

Is A Ban On Lead Tackle Coming Soon?

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Loon jpgMassachusetts has already banned lead sinkers and jigs under one ounce in all fresh water bodies of water.  This was due to effects on the loon population.  Is a ban on lead tackle coming soon on a national level?

This recent article discusses the Association Of Avian Veterinarians’ position statement advocating the replacement of lead-based sporting ammunition and fishing tackle with non-lead alternatives due to their effects on raptors such as bald eagles.

Given the harmful effects of ingesting lead-based tackle and ammunition, the AAV adopted the following policy: “The Association of Avian Veterinarians recognizes that lead is a potent toxin to wild birds that can have individual- and population-level effects. Therefore, the AAV advocates the replacement of lead-based sporting ammunition and fishing tackle with non-lead alternatives.”

“Mortality and morbidity from exposure to concentrated sources of lead from fishing tackle and ammunition has been documented in water birds, ducks, swans and loons, in upland game—doves and quail—and scavengers—condors and eagles—for decades,” said AAV President Sharman Hoppes in the statement.

“A recently published study examining bald eagles admitted to rehabilitation facilities suggests that more than three-quarters of the bald eagles have elevated lead levels and 25 percent of these are fatal,” Dr. Hoppes continued.

The AAV says several varieties of approved and effective, lead-free ammunition and fishing tackle are available. For these reasons, the association is advocating for the replacement of lead-based sporting ammunition and fishing tackle.

“In addition, meat with lead fragments pose(s) health risks to people eating contaminated meat.”  Source

Bald-Eagle_with fishWhat do you think?

Is this a necessary step to protect wild birds and game or an intrusion by the government that will cost anglers and hunters a lot of money with little benefit?

How would banning lead tackle effect your fishing strategies as most fishing tackle contains lead?

Please leave your comments below to tell us your opinion.

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