John Kanter: (603) 271-2461
Steve Perry: (603) 271-2501
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211

December 14, 2005

Sale of Certain Lead Fishing Tackle Banned as of January 1

CONCORD, N.H. -- The sale of certain sizes of lead sinkers and jigs -- sinkers weighing one ounce or less and jigs less than one inch long - will be banned throughout the state of New Hampshire starting January 1, 2006. The use of this lead tackle has been prohibited on all fresh waters in the state as of January 1, 2005. A state law passed in 2004 required these changes.

For years, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has encouraged anglers to safely dispose of old lead sinkers and jigs because of the health hazard lead tackle presents for loons and other wildlife. Loons that eat 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 2004 law extended that ban to rivers and streams, effectively making the tackle illegal to use on any freshwater in the state as of 2005.

"Both anglers and store owners should be aware that they can affect the future of our loons," said John Kanter, Coordinator of Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. "The ban on the sale of certain tackle, along with other restrictions already in place, will further our efforts to get lead out of the fragile environment we share with these threatened birds."

Anglers and store owners can find many effective new alternatives to lead tackle that are now available. Click here to learn more about inexpensive alternatives to lead tackle, offering technical benefits to the angler while keeping our waterways lead-free.

Retailers should review their inventory -- and freshwater anglers should check over their tackle boxes -- and remove illegal lead sinkers and jigs.

Dispose of lead sinkers and jigs safely at:

  • N.H. Fish and Game offices (Concord, Durham, Keene, Lancaster and New Hampton) and state fish hatcheries (for locations, call 603-271-3211).

  • Household Hazardous Waste collections, held throughout the state. Call the N.H. Department of Environmental Services at (603) 271-2047, or click here to visit:

  • The Loon Preservation Committee's visitor center on Lee's Mills Road in Moultonborough; visit

Click here to download the free U.S. Fish & Wildlife brochure about loons and lead in New Hampshire, "Let's Get the Lead Out" (PDF file, 105 KB).

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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