Keep Getting the Lead Out – It's the Law!

Click here for "The Nonlead Tackle Advantage" and learn more about the excellent tackle you can now use instead of lead.

Click here to download the brochure, Let's Get the Lead Out. For copies, call Fish and Game's Aquatic Resources Education at (603) 271-3212.

NEW! Want to help get the word out about lead-free tackle?
The NH Lakes Association has outreach tools for local groups. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Loons and other waterbirds can die from lead poisoning after swallowing lead fishing sinkers and jigs lost by anglers. According to the Loon Preservation Committee, poisoning from lead fishing tackle accounts for 52 percent of mortalities among adult and immature loons from 1976 through 2000, by far the largest single cause of adult loon mortality in New Hampshire.

State law prohibits the use of lead sinkers and jigs in all fresh water in New Hampshire, including lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. The ban prohibits the use of lead sinkers weighing 1 ounce or less and lead jigs less than 1 inch long along their longest axis.

The law also prohibits the sale in New Hampshire of lead sinkers weighing 1 ounce or less and lead jigs less than 1 inch long along their longest axis.

What you can do:

  • Use non-lead sinkers and jigs. It's the law.
  • Ask your local sporting goods store to stock non-lead fishing tackle. It's the law.
  • Spread the word. Tell other anglers about the problem with lead.
  • Dispose of old lead sinkers and jigs properly. Drop-off locations include all N.H. Fish and Game offices and hatcheries (see list below).

The law is intended to protect loons and other diving waterbirds that can accidentally ingest toxic lead sinkers as they pick pebbles up from lake bottoms. The pebbles grind food in the birds' gizzards to help their digestion. Ingesting lead can kill a bird in a matter of weeks.

Anglers can safely dispose of their old lead sinkers and jigs at:

  • All Fish and Game regional offices (Concord, Durham, Keene, Lancaster, and New Hampton) and state fish hatcheries (Berlin, Milford, New Hampton, New Durham, Twin Mountain and Warren).
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collections held throughout the state. Call the N.H. Department of Environmental Services at 603- 271-2047, or visit for more information.
  • The Loon Preservation Committee's visitor center on Lee's Mills Road in Moultonborough. Visit


About Us
NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

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