Sandra Falicon: (603) 271-3511
John Kanter: (603) 271-2461
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
December 20, 2004

Extended Ban on Lead Fishing Tackle Takes Effect January 1

CONCORD, N.H. -- The use of certain sizes of lead sinkers and jigs is banned on all fresh waters in New Hampshire as of January 1, 2005, when a new law takes effect. The sale of this tackle will be illegal statewide beginning January 1, 2006.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has for years encouraged anglers to safely dispose of old lead sinkers and jigs and replace them with nonlead alternatives because of the health hazard lead tackle presents for loons and other wildlife. Loons that ingest lead sinkers or jigs usually die within a matter of weeks. To protect wildlife from this toxic substance, in 2000, New Hampshire became the first state to ban the use of lead sinkers one ounce or less and jigs less than one inch long on freshwater lakes and ponds. The new law extends that ban to rivers and streams, effectively making the tackle illegal to use on any freshwater in the state.

"The earlier law and educational campaign alerted people to the dangers of lead tackle to wildlife and the ready availability of nonlead alternatives, but in reality loons are still dying from lead poisoning," said John Kanter, Coordinator of Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. "Hopefully, the wider ban implemented by the new law will finally help us get lead out of the fragile environment we share with these threatened birds."

Most anglers have been supportive about making the change from lead tackle, according to Mark Beauchesne, coordinator of Fish and Game's Let's Go Fishing program. "Anglers know that it's the right thing to do and continue to do their part by using the many great alternatives to lead tackle that are now available."

Beauchesne recommends that freshwater anglers check over their tackle boxes and remove any lead sinkers and jigs. Dispose of them safely at:

Click here for more information on inexpensive alternatives to lead tackle that offer technical benefits to the angler while keeping our waterways lead-free.

Click here for more on "Getting the Lead Out."

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's marine, fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.

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